- The Washington Times - Friday, July 5, 2019

A Chicago Cubs minor league affiliate apologized Wednesday night after a tweet apparently mocking Colin Kaepernick with a Betsy Ross flag drew backlash.

The Tennessee Smokies had tweeted several pictures ahead of their game Wednesday that showed the early American flag design etched onto the field at the Smokies Stadium in Kodak, Tennessee.

“Hey @Kaepernick7 after a lot of thought, we have decided it’s best to just do it. #America,” the tweet read, tagging Mr. Kaepernick, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.

Mr. Kaepernick, a former NFL quarterback and leader of the national anthem protests that rocked the sports world in 2016, made headlines in recent days after he reportedly pressured Nike into recalling a line of shoes that featured the Betsy Ross flag because he said it had connections to slavery.

Apparently regretting their decision to enter the debate, the Tennessee Smokies later deleted their tweet and apologized to those who were offended.

“Regarding one of our recent tweets regarding @Kaepernick7 and our field design for tonight’s game, it was meant to be a light-hearted take on a current situation,” the team said. “We did not mean to offend anyone by it. If it did, we certainly apologize.”

Connor Pearce, the team’s marketing and community relations manager, explained that the tweet was “just a light-hearted take on a current situation,” the News Sentinel reported.

Mr. Boyd, the Smokies’ owner, said in a tweet Wednesday night that he had no prior knowledge of the stunt.

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