Laurence Fox ridiculed for calling for Nike boycott while wearing Nike shoes

Right-wing commentator was railing against colourful update of the England team’s St George’s Cross shirt design

Tara Cobham
Monday 25 March 2024 06:56 GMT
Nike ‘should not mess’ with St George’s Cross on England shirt, says Sunak

Laurence Fox has been mocked for calling for a boycott of Nike - while wearing Nike shoes.

The sportswear company has attracted criticism after it altered the appearance of the St George’s Cross on the England shirt ahead of Euro 2024.

Using purple and blue horizontal stripes, Nike said it was a “playful update”, but some football fans have claimed it is ‘insulting’.

Fox told the company to “leave our flag alone” as he addressed a small group of protesters outside Downing Street on Saturday.

But when pictures of Fox addressing the crowd were shared online, it was his footwear became the focus of attention, with many pointing out the irony.

Twitter user Dean Johnson wrote: “Laurence Fox leading a “Million Men March” that like 50 people turned up to boycott Nike whilst wearing Nike trainers is comedy gold. Satire is dead.”

And Ben Cogan added: “Good LORD! Just when You think that Laurence Fox could not be any more ridiculous than he already spectacularly is: he steps up to take even more of your breath away! Here is the plank of hatred calling for a boycott of all Nike products … whilst wearing a pair of Nike trainers.”

After sporting the pair of blue and white Nikes, the 45-year-old responded on X with a sarcastic ‘apology’.

In a short video, he showed three pairs of Nikes he owned but argued that it was ok because he bought them before the St George’s Cross redesign.

Laurence Fox with girfriend Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Barker attending the ‘Rally for British Culture’ protest, organised by Turning Point UK, at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London (Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

He said: “I just turned on the internet to see that I was trending for wearing a pair of 15-year-old Nike high-tops. It gets worse - these are about, I don’t know, six or seven years older than these. These are the classics, these have been around since, I don’t know, 2007.”

At the rally of around 100 people on Saturday, Fox referred to under-21s England football star Harvey Elliott, who played with his collar turned up against Azerbaijan on Saturday.

Elliott’s decision led some commentators to wonder if it was an effort to hide the controversial new cross on the kit.

“Good on Harvey Elliott for having his collar up all of yesterday during the game,” Fox said. “Leave our flag alone.”

Fox bemoaned Pride flags as well as football shirts (Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

Attendees sang the national anthem and waved Union flags and England flags. The crowd also chanted “get Sadiq (Khan) out” and “the new right rises”.

Fox, who plans to stand as the Reclaim Party candidate in this year’s London mayoral election, also took aim at the shirt at a “rally for British culture” in Westminster organised by Turning Point UK.

He said that if he was nominated for London Mayor “you will never see another pride flag in this sodding town again”. Fox posed with a banner that read “Lee (Anderson) and Suella (Braverman) were right.”

During the rally, there was an altercation between police and a small number of attendees overdrinking in public.

Officers confiscated their alcohol and the event continued without further incident.

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