Democratic presidential hopeful Julián Castro on Wednesday applauded Nike’s decision to nix a pair of sneakers featuring a Betsy Ross flag.
The former Housing and Urban Development secretary said in a CBS News interview that he was “glad to see” the company’s decision.
“I was glad to see that. And my hope is that they didn’t just do it to do it. They understand the significance there. And look, there are a lot of things in our history that are still very painful,” Castro said, pointing to “the Confederate Flag that still flies in some places, and is used as a symbol.”
“I believe we need to move towards an inclusive America that understands that pain,” he added.
The Wall Street Journal reported this week that Nike decided to pull the shoe after former NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who has been a spokesman for the company, raised concerns that some might find the flag offensive due to its connection to an era of slavery.
Following the company’s decision, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) announced that he will ask the state’s commerce authority to pull financial incentives for Nike over a planned location in the state.
Other Republicans, including Sens. (Texas) and (Mo.) have criticized the company’s decision, with Cruz vowing to never buy the company’s products again.
Castro is among two dozen people competing for the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination.