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California Gov. Gavin Newsom tells Nike that state is 'open for business' after Betsy Ross flag controversy

California Gov. Gavin Newsom praised Nike for stopping the release of a new pair of shoes that would have included the Betsy Ross flag.

Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during the 2019 California Democratic Party State Organizing Convention in San Francisco, Saturday, June 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during the 2019 California Democratic Party State Organizing Convention in San Francisco, Saturday, June 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu, AP

SALT LAKE CITY — California Gov. Gavin Newsom says his state is open for business when it comes to Nike.

Newsom praised Nike for stopping the release of a new pair of shoes that would have included the Betsy Ross flag, saying California is “open for business," according to Fox News.

“Hey, @Nike — we’re just a quick jaunt over the border,” Newsom, a Democrat, tweeted. “Thank you for doing the right thing. CA is open for business and welcomes those that represent the best of our American values.”

Newsom’s tweet included a screenshot of Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s tweet from Tuesday that announced Arizona would withdraw incentives for Nike to build a manufacturing plant there.

The news: The Wall Street Journal reported this week that Nike scrapped plans to release a pair of sneakers with the Betsy Ross flag on the heel after former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick intervened, saying the flag had slavery connotations.

  • Kaepernick reportedly reached out to Nike, saying the slavery-era flag could be seen as an offensive symbol, according to the Associated Press.
  • On Tuesday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced in a series of tweets that he would withdraw incentives for Nike to build a manufacturing plant in Arizonafollowing the controversy, which I wrote about for the Deseret News.
  • Nike previously planned to build a manufacturing plant in Goodyear, Arizona and would have invested more than $184 million in the project, according to ABC 15.

The other side: Nike released a statement about the controversy, according to Fox News.

“We regularly make business decisions to withdraw initiatives, products and services. NIKE made the decision to halt distribution of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday," Nike explained in a statement.

“Nike is a company proud of its American heritage and our continuing engagement supporting thousands of American athletes including the US Olympic team and US Soccer teams. We already employ 35,000 people in the U.S. and remain committed to creating jobs in the U.S., including a significant investment in an additional manufacturing center which will create 500 new jobs,” reads the statement.