Retired marine and double amputee Johnny “Joe” Jones was not happy with Nike dropping their Betsy Ross flag-inspired shoe recently after a reported complaint from former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Jones was so displeased with the news that he decided to do something in response — so he got himself a tattoo.
“You don’t get to control the narrative on everything that is a symbol to this country,” Jones told “Fox & Friends” on Saturday about his new tattoo of the Betsy Ross-designed American flag.
— Johnny (Joey) Jones (@Johnny_Joey) July 5, 2019
Thank you for your service and your continued service to enlisted men and women and veterans everywhere. You come back and get tattooed ANYTIME bro! pic.twitter.com/otkhbT5zdg
— AllorNothingTattoo (@AONTATTOO) July 5, 2019
“Colin Kaepernick presented this opportunity to me on a silver platter,” Jones said of his decision to get the Betsy Ross flag tattooed on his bicep.
Since The Wall Street Journal reported that Kaepernick told Nike the Betsy Ross flag was offensive and has racist undertones, a debate has sparked between right and left about the flag.
Some have compared the Betsy Ross flag to the swastika and even 2020 hopefuls like Beto O’Rourke and Julian Castro have criticized its use.
Others have rightfully defended the flag as one significant to America’s independence through the Revolutionary War.
“That flag is absolutely a symbol,” Jones said of the flag. “It’s a symbol of what people can do in this country. Even in times when they feel oppressed, they can rise above, have a direct impact.”
Jones has received plenty of support on social media from folks who were understandably a little taken aback with a company practically labeling America’s earliest flag as politically incorrect.
“You rock Mr. Johnny (Joey) Jones. By the way thank you, thank you for your sacrificial service to our country. I love it when you are on FOX,” one Twitter user wrote about Jones.
You rock Mr. Johnny (Joey) Jones. By the way thank you, thank you for your sacrificial service to our country. I love it when you are on FOX. https://t.co/xfOylAQv5e
— cindy roberts (@crobertstamu) July 5, 2019
“Thank you Joey Jones!!!” another added.
Thank you Joey Jones!!!
— Rod Stew (@RodStew3) July 6, 2019
Some have attempted to criticize Jones’ for his support of the Betsy Ross American flag, but Jones has taken the criticism head-on and his only weapon is common sense.
“I appreciate your service and you sacrifice, Johnny, but please don’t stand with the likes of these,” one user wrote to Jones. The user included an image of white supremacists doing the Nazi salute. One of the flags hanging behind them is the Betsy Ross American flag.
I appreciate your service and you sacrifice, Johnny, but please don’t stand with the likes of these: pic.twitter.com/DQ5WAuFnEW
— Karen Olson (@olsonkaren48) July 6, 2019
“Karen, I don’t let ignorant people stop me from celebrating this country, its meaning and the contributions of people worth remembering,” Jones replied.
Despite controversy surrounding Nike’s decision to pull the Betsy Ross shoe design, the move has apparently paid off for them.
Since news broke about their conversation with Kaepernick over the shoe design, Nike has actually seen their stock value go up, which similarly happened when they first partnered with Kaepernick on a series of advertisements — advertisements which also inspired controversy.
“Nike made the decision to halt distribution of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday,” a Nike spokeswoman said in a public statement trying to officially explain the decision to pull the shoes.
“Friday afternoon, trading Nike shares were up slightly to $86.62 and the company’s market value is now $136.38 billion,” TMZ reported about Nike’s recent stock value uptick.
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