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AZ Gov. Withdraws Nike Financial Incentives After Company Pulls Patriotic Sneakers

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Nike’s decision to pull its patriotic “Betsy Ross” sneakers has come under fire from Governor Doug Ducey (R-AZ), who has since ordered his state to withdraw the financial incentives that it was going to provide for the sportswear company to open up a new manufacturing facility in Arizona.

In a statement released early this morning, Ducey wrote:

Today was supposed to be a good day in Arizona, with the announcement of a major Nike investment in Goodyear, AZ. And then this news broke yesterday afternoon.

Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision. I am embarrassed for Nike.

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.

Nike reportedly dropped plans to release the patriotic July 4 themed sneaker after former NFL player Colin Kaepernick complained it was offensive, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The sneakers featured a version of the U.S. flag sewn by Betsy Ross, which has 13 stars in a circle. According to the football player, the flag is offensive because it was linked to a period of slavery in the United States.

The Wall Street Journal writes:

The sneaker giant created the Air Max 1 USA in celebration of the July Fourth holiday, and it was slated to go on sale this week. The heel of the shoe featured a U.S. flag with 13 white stars in a circle, a design created during the American Revolution and commonly referred to as the Betsy Ross flag.

After shipping the shoes to retailers, Nike asked for them to be returned without explaining why, the people said. The shoes aren’t available on Nike’s own apps and websites.

“Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured the old version of the American flag,” a Nike spokeswoman said.

Photos by Getty Images

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