Nike has pulled sneakers embellished with the controversial “Betsy Ross flag” from its apps and website, but you can still get your hands on them, thanks to resale sites such as StockX.
But it will cost you a pretty penny.
The sneakers, shipped to retailers in preparation for a Fourth of July-week launch, were originally priced at $120, according to StockX’s website. By Tuesday morning, a pair was fetching as much as $2,500 on the auction platform.
Nike pulled the sneakers featuring an early American flag on the heel after former National Football League player Colin Kaepernick, a Nike endorser, told the company it shouldn’t sell a shoe that he and others consider offensive, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday evening, citing people familiar with the matter.
Nike’s Air Max 1 USA sneakers with the ‘Betsy Ross’ flag were selling for over $2,000 on resale site StockX.
The Journal reported that Kaepernick contacted Nike officials saying he and others felt the flag — featuring 13 stars in a circle — is an offensive symbol because it is linked to a period of slavery. Others have said the flag has been adopted by some extremist groups.
“Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured an old version of the American flag,” a Nike spokeswoman told CNBC.
Items such as shoes and watches are sold on StockX either at the seller’s asking price or at the highest bidding offer. As of 9:20 a.m. ET, 66 pairs of the Air Max 1 USA had been sold on StockX, the website said. Multiple pairs in various sizes were selling for more than $1,000.
StockX didn’t immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment, but its website says its “experts authenticate every product sold on StockX” and items are shipped within two business days.
Nike shares were down less than 1% in early trading Tuesday following the news that it had decided not to release the sneakers. Shares had closed Monday up nearly 2% and have rallied 15% this year, bringing the retailer’s market cap to about $134.2 billion.