On Tuesday, CNN's Chris Cuomo hosted a debate between former South Carolina Democratic lawmaker Bakari Sellers and Trump adviser Steve Cortes on Nike's decision to pull the "Betsy Ross" shoes at the urging of Colin Kaepernick.
"This Republican and this fallout rage is almost laughable," said Sellers. "The shoe and flag represented a period of time where I was three-fifths of a human being. That is a issue. People don't want to go back to that time. But Nike made a business decision that they have every right to do. And so for the governor of Arizona, for Ted Cruz, for all of these now self-righteous politicians on the right to come out and break out pitchforks for Nike, look, they were the same people who were trying to burn Nikes a few weeks ago and that stock went straight up. So why don't you do that same thing again, I think it's going to help Nike's bottom line."
"But they are quiet as church mice when they're talking about a president who tramples on the American flag today, who cavorts with dictators, who lets his children play government on the weekends, and now who has a humanitarian crisis on the border," added Sellers. "So I don't really want to hear what you have to say about Nike, I'd rather you worry about what's going on today with our American values."
Cortes disagreed, acknowledging that Nike has a right to "make this dreadful mistake," but adding that the company "was an iconic American story. And sadly what it's becoming now is a soulless globalist bureaucracy and one that is willing to disrespect the country that made its rise possible."
"Steve and I have two totally different views of what it means to be patriotic," said Sellers. "We have two totally different views on what it means to be American. I love this country. I love the United States of America and the reason I love it is because of people like Colin Kaepernick, because of people Muhammad Ali, because of people like my father."
"You can call Colin Kaepernick any name that you want to call him," said Sellers. "The fact is, Colin Kaepernick had the audacity to take a knee for what he believed in, and, yes, he believes in this country that you should not have to talk to your children if their black or brown because they may have an interaction with police that goes wrong."