Nike pulled sneakers embellished with the controversial "Betsy Ross flag" from its apps and website. But on Tuesday morning, you could still get your hands on them for a pretty penny on StockX — at least before the auction platform stopped selling them, too.
StockX CEO Scott Cutler said on his Twitter account Tuesday afternoon that the Air Max 1 USA was being pulled as "the sale of this product on our platform does not align with our value system."
The red-white-and-blue sneakers, shipped to retailers in preparation for a Fourth of July-week launch, were originally priced at $120, according to StockX's website. By Tuesday morning, a pair was fetching as much as $2,500 on StockX, when they couldn't be found elsewhere.
Nike pulled the sneakers featuring an early American flag on the heel after former National Football League player Colin Kaepernick, a Nike endorser, told the company it shouldn't sell a shoe that he and others consider offensive, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday evening, citing people familiar with the matter.
The Journal reported that Kaepernick contacted Nike officials saying he and others felt the flag — featuring 13 stars in a circle — is an offensive symbol because it is linked to a period of slavery. Others have said the flag has been adopted by some extremist groups.
"Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured an old version of the American flag," a Nike spokeswoman told CNBC.
Items such as shoes and watches are sold on StockX either at the seller's asking price or at the highest bidding offer. As of 9:20 a.m. ET, 66 pairs of the Air Max 1 USA had been sold on StockX, the website said. Multiple pairs in various sizes were selling for more than $1,000.
StockX's website says its "experts authenticate every product sold on StockX" and items are shipped within two business days. The Air Max 1 USA product started to appear on the auction platform ahead of the shoe's scheduled release to the public.
Nike shares were down about 1% Tuesday afternoon and have rallied 14% this year, bringing the retailer's market cap to about $133 billion.