Congressman Says Colin Kaepernick Should Leave US If He Does Not Like the Country

By Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.
July 5, 2019 Updated: July 6, 2019

Rep. Morris Jackson “Mo” Brooks Jr. (R-Ala.) recently weighed in on the Nike’s Betsy Ross sneaker controversy, saying that former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick should leave America if he does not like the country.

Brooks made his comments during an appearance on SiriusXM Patriot’s Breitbart News Tonight on July 3 in response to Kaepernick’s issue with one of Nike’s newest sneaker design featuring Betsy Ross flag, an older version of the American flag that was created during a time when slavery was widespread, saying it was “offensive.” The sports giant had made the sneaker to celebrate July 4.

After Kaepernick’s comments, Nike stopped the production and sale of the sneakers saying that they did not want to “unintentionally offend” people, which sparked a backlash on social media and from prominent figures and politicians like Brooks.

“We’ve got some very radical people in the United States of America who don’t like America,” Brooks said during the interview. “They don’t like the foundational principles that have made us a great nation. And I would put Mr. Kaerpernick in that category.”

He called Kaerpernick’s protest against the shoe design as “absolutely absurd.”

“In my mind, perhaps he ought to consider moving to a country where he believes the laws are better for his purposes. I doubt he will do that because in this country, we’ve had over a million Americans die fighting for our liberties … and one of those liberties is freedom of speech … and all of these things that we enjoy, he seems to frown upon. So I just assume he leave,” he added.

The Alabama congressman also called on American to boycott companies like Nike that are “embarrassed about the patriotism that has helped make America who we are.”

The Betsy Ross flag was an early design of the American flag that features only 13 stars, which stood for the 13 colonies of the time.

Several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates praised Nike’s decision to pull the sneaker over its design, including Julián Castro and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

“I think it’s really important to take into account the impression that kind of symbol would have for many of our fellow Americans,” he said, reported Jewish Insider.

Tim Murtaugh, director of communications for Trump’s reelection campaign, pointed out that the flag was used during President Barrack Obama’s second inauguration without issue from Democrats.

“Democrats running for president have officially lost it. Beto & Castro strongly imply that the Betsy Ross flag is a symbol of hatred. Do the rest of the Dems agree? Pictured here, of course, is the notorious flag prominently featured at President Obama’s 2nd inauguration,” wrote in his Twitter post on July 3.

Similarly, Donald Trump Jr. also pointed out the appearance of the flag at the Obama inauguration to highlight the changing sentiments toward the flag.

“Weird that no one had a problem with The Betsy Ross Flag when it flew over Obama’s inauguration. Now it’s not patriotic… ok got it,” he wrote.

After Nike made the decision to pull the shoe, Arizona’s governor criticized the sports giant and withdrew incentives for the company to set up a new manufacturing site.

Simon Veazey contributed to this report.

Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.