clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey says he's pulling Nike plant incentives after Colin Kaepernick, Betsy Ross flag controversy

The decision comes just one day after The Wall Street Journal reported that Nike planned to ditch its USA-themed sneaker that pictured Betsy Ross’ flag.

In this April 3, 2019, file photo, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey talks to reporters outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington following a meeting with President Donald Trump. Arizona Ducey is making a move against Nike, announcing on Tuesday that h
In this April 3, 2019, file photo, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey talks to reporters outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington following a meeting with President Donald Trump. Arizona Ducey is making a move against Nike, announcing on Tuesday that he would order the Arizona Commerce Authority to withdraw incentives for Nike to build a manufacturing plant in the state, according to Fox News. The decision comes just one day after The Wall Street Journal reported that Nike planned to ditch its USA-themed sneaker that included the Betsy Ross’ flag on the heel after former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick spoke out against the shoes.
Susan Walsh, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is making a move against Nike, announcing on Tuesday that he would order the Arizona Commerce Authority to withdraw incentives for Nike to build a manufacturing plant in the state, according to Fox News.

Ducey released a series of tweets to announce the decision.

Context: The decision comes just one day after The Wall Street Journal reported that Nike planned to ditch its USA-themed sneaker that included the Betsy Ross flag on the heel after former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick spoke out against the shoes. Kaepernick reportedly took issue with the potential connotations of using a slavery-era flag.

“Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision. I am embarrassed for Nike,” Ducey tweeted. “Nike is an iconic American brand and American company. This country, our system of government and free enterprise have allowed them to prosper and flourish.

“Instead of celebrating American history the week of our nation’s independence, Nike has apparently decided that Betsy Ross is unworthy, and has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism. It is a shameful retreat for the company. American businesses should be proud of our country’s history, not abandoning it.

“Nike has made its decision, and now we’re making ours. I’ve ordered the Arizona Commerce Authority to withdraw all financial incentive dollars under their discretion that the State was providing for the company to locate here. Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike. We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history.

“And finally, it shouldn’t take a controversy over a shoe for our kids to know who Betsy Ross is. A founding mother. Her story should be taught in all American schools. In the meantime, it’s worth googling her.”

Flashback: Nike planned to invest $184.5 million into opening a manufacturing plant in Goodyear, Arizona, which would have created at least 500 jobs, according to ABC 15.

Ducey oversees the Arizona Commerce Authority, which was established in 2010 to help bring businesses to the state, according to CNBC. But the agency has found issues with measuring success.

“I was never a fan … and that was one of my problems to begin with: How are we going to quantify whether this agency is successful?” said Senate President Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, in 2015, according to the Arizona Republic. As governor, Ducey has scaled back its funds, the paper reported.