U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) criticized sportswear firm Nike for canceling its U.S. flag-themed shoes ahead of Independence Day, even as it bends to the demands of “Chinese Communists” when selling products there.

Hawley slammed the shoemaker after it pulled the patriotic shoe because former NFL player Colin Kaepernick complained that the ’76 flag was “offensive” and a “symbol” of oppression and slavery.

AP reported, “Nike pulled the Air Max 1 USA shoe, which included a Revolutionary-era U.S. flag with 13 white stars in a circle on the heel. Kaepernick reached out to Nike after learning they planned to release the sneaker to explain that the flag recalls an era when black people were enslaved and that it has been appropriated by white nationalist groups.”

Kaepernick was the first NFL athlete to take a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality.

“Nike thinks American flag is symbol of oppression?” Hawley wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “What planet are you on? Nike gladly allows Chinese Communist Party to tell it what products to sell while building its business around sweatshop labor. Nike is anti-American, pure & simple.”

Hawley added that Nike had become an example of all that is wrong with corporate America.

“Nike is a symbol of everything wrong with the corporate economy,” the senator wrote. “They take advantage of our laws but send jobs overseas for sweatshop wages, partner w repressive regimes, aggressively avoid paying any US taxes, and then tell Americans to shut up and buy their stuff.”

A recent report by CNN revealed that Nike pulled some of its products from shops in China after one of its designers came to the support of democracy protesters in Hong Kong. Nike withdrew the products created by the designer so as not to upset Chinese authorities.

“We have withdrawn from China a small number of products that were designed by a collaborator,” a Nike (NKE) representative told CNN Business last month.

Hawley asked Nike to apologize to Americans for denigrating the flag.

The flag of Betsy Ross is an early American flag from the late 1700s. For the original 13 colonies, it featured only 13 stars. According to USHistory.org, the flag was the first U.S. flag to look like our modern American flag.

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.