The Tennessee Smokies minor league baseball team deleted a tweet and apologized after it came under fire for inserting itself into the ongoing controversy over Nike’s decision to pull its Betsy Ross flag tennis shoe.
Ahead of its Wednesday night game, the official Twitter account of the Double-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs shared four photos showing the early version of the American flag etched into the dirt around second base at Smokies Stadium in Kodak, Tennessee.
Regarding one of our recent tweets regarding @Kaepernick7 and our field design for tonight's game, it was meant to be a light-hearted take on a current situation. We did not mean to offend anyone by it. If it did, we certainly apologize.
— Tennessee Smokies (@smokiesbaseball) July 4, 2019
The Tennessee Smokies Double-A baseball team came under fire Wednesday, July 3, 2019, after it posted a tweet showing the Betsy Ross flag etched into the infield. Nike reportedly designed a shoe featuring the early flag but pulled it after former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick complained.
Nike designed the sneaker, featuring a flag with 13 white stars in a circle on the heel, for Independence Day, but pulled the shoe ahead of time after Kaepernick told the company he and others consider the symbol to be offensive, the Wall Street Journal reported.The flag is named after Betsy Ross, the beloved Philadelphia upholsterer credited with designing it in the late 18th century.Those who take issue with the flag today point to its adoption by some far-right groups and say it is evocative of a time when slavery was the law of the land. Some experts, however, say the flag is used only occasionally by extremists and that it is more often viewed as an innocuous patriotic symbol.