On Tuesday, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, announced that the state would be withdrawing financial incentives promised to Nike over the company dropping an American flag-style shoe, reportedly at the behest of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
“The Betsy Ross Flag” edition shoe was kicked to the curb by the athletic gear giant after Kaepernick complained about the new sneakers, allegedly calling them “offensive.” The former QB, who famously took a knee during the playing of the national anthem before NFL games, claiming to protest police brutality and racial injustices, signed a multi-million dollar sponsorship deal with Nike last year.
“Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision. I am embarrassed for Nike,” Gov. Ducey posted in a string of tweets on Tuesday morning. “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,” the thread continued. “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,” announced Ducey. “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,” the Republican concluded.
The shoe protested by Kaepernick included a U.S. flag with 13 white stars in a circle on the heel of the sneaker, “a design created during the American Revolution and commonly referred to as the Betsy Ross flag,” noted The Wall Street Journal in a Monday report.
Nike reportedly planned on investing $185 million to open a manufacturing facility in Goodyear, Arizona, which would employ about 500 people, according to city records, the Journal noted, adding that the Goodyear City Council, on Monday, “approved a package of incentives that would reimburse the company about $1 million in planning fees and about $4,000 per full-time employee Nike hires, according to city records.”