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CNN Panel Clashes Over Canceled Nike Shoes: Betsy Ross Flag Was Used When I Counted as ‘3/5ths of a Human Being’

CNN commentators Bakari Sellers and Steve Cortes got into it Tuesday night over Nike’s decision to pull a shoe with the Betsy Ross flag sewn into it, as

“The shoe and flag represented a period of time where I was three-fifths of a human being,” Sellers noted while the two discussed the canning of Nike’s patriotism-themed Air Max 1, which was dropping to commemorate July Fourth. “That is an issue. People don’t want to go back to that time… [So] for all of these now self-righteous politicians on the right to come out and break out pitch forks for Nike, look, they were the same people who were trying to burn Nikes a few weeks ago and that stock just went straight up.”

“It’s wrong,” Cortes replied. “And here’s why it’s wrong: Nike … was really an iconic American story. And sadly what it’s becoming now is a soulless globalist bureaucracy and one that is willing to disrespect the very country that made its meteoric rise possible and why is it doing it? It’s doing it to try to placate to a bunch of woke celebrities.”

Cortes went on to accuse former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who reportedly complained to Nike which led to the shoes being pulled, of “disrespecting the flag” now and during his protest.

The conversation took a nose dive after Sellers argued that Cortes’ view of U.S. history — that it was a mostly good nation despite the mark of slavery — is tied to white supremacy and patriarchy.

“I’m not going to let you get away with that and throw that in as if casually!” Cortes eclaimed. “Who said anything about patriarchy or white supremacy?!”

“Do you understand that our country was founded on the backs of black folk?” Sellers shot back.

Cortes continued by arguing that the claim that America “was built on white supremacy is such ludicrous rhetoric and so historically inaccurate that I’m appalled that you would say it and say it two days before the birthday of our great country.”

Watch above, via CNN.

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Caleb Ecarma is a reporter at Mediaite. Email him here: caleb@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter here: @calebecarma