Sen. Marsha Blackburn Op-Ed: 'Nike and Colin Kaepernick Should Understand Who Defends Our Flag'


By now, most of us have heard the news that Nike cancelled the rollout of their new “Betsy Ross” flag themed sneaker following a complaint from Colin Kaepernick. The former NFL player, famous for kneeling in protest during the national anthem, told top Nike officials the flag was “an offensive symbol because of its connection to an era of slavery.” My colleague, Sarah Rumpf, posted about this story here.


Nike and Kaepernick are free to do whatever they choose, no matter how anti-American it appears. But I find it incredibly sad that so many on the left are willing to put this country down. They want to erase history. They have no appreciation for their freedom let alone those who fought for it. Nike and Kaepernick have no gratitude for the country that allowed them to succeed as they could have in very few other places. Nor do they even try to hide their contempt for it.

Rush Limbaugh discussed this story on his radio show earlier and made the following disturbing, but accurate, observation. “It used to be said of the two political parties that we all want what’s best for America. That can’t be said anymore.”

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) shared her feelings in an op-ed which was published earlier on Breitbart.

Here is what Sen. Blackburn had to say:

Well, who would ever have thought that a spoiled brat football player would have a problem with an American flag that was first made by one of our founding mothers in 1776?

Sounds like someone needs a little flag education on what that symbol of freedom actually stands for to millions of people, not only in America, but also around the globe. It is time for the self-absorbed to understand a little bit about who continues to defend that freedom and protect their free speech so that they can say such inane things and continue to make millions of dollars. It happens because Americans are free to choose.


What the self-absorbed need to understand is that we are “free to choose” because over one million Americans who serve in the U.S. military have raised their hands and taken an oath to serve this nation and to protect our freedom. That’s right, they raised their hands, took an oath to protect and defend, and they did not have a highly paid agent negotiating a bloated contract that would put millions of dollars in their pocket. They chose to put their lives on the line because they are called to serve and protect our freedom. The self-absorbed also need to realize that they are protected by the local law enforcement—that’s right, the thin blue line between chaos and calm.

Those who complain about an American flag being on a pair of shoes could not fight like a soldier if they had to. If they had the guts to put on camo–not the beautiful bright colors of a sports uniform–they would hit the battlefield instead of the playing field. On the battlefield, the soldiers are protectors, not the protected. Those who are complaining about this don’t have the mental toughness of someone who wears a military or police uniform. They should trade for a few days and see how it feels. A soldier has no one to carry his gear or work out that pain in his back or the muscle spasm in his leg. They tough it out.

I might not agree with much of what this spoiled brat football player has to say, but I will defend his right to say it because I believe in free speech. I will support our military because I believe in the cause of freedom, free people, and free markets. I will back the blue because they keep our communities safe.


To Nike, there are millions of us who would really like to wear a Betsy Ross running shoe and celebrate what women have done for freedom and freedom’s cause—there is such a thing as founding mothers. Why don’t you choose to honor them? None of us would be here without their contributions to this nation. Get the shoe back on the market.

To the self-absorbed, learn to show a little tolerance and a little respect. Grow up. You are not the center of the universe.

As for me, I will always stand for the flag. I will always support our troops. I will always celebrate being American.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos