Arizona’s Republican Governor Doug Ducey announced that he would seek to rescind financial incentives for Nike after the company ditched an American flag-themed sneaker design reportedly because Colin Kaepernick complained that it had racial overtones.
The sneaker, at $140/pair, had featured the ‘Betsy Ross’ flag, consisting of the traditional red and white stripes and 13 stars in a circle on the blue field to also represent the original 13 colonies.
“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 spokesman for the company stated.
The Wall Street Journal explained that it wasn’t quite that simple.
“[Colin] Kaepernick, a Nike endorser, reached out to company officials saying that he and others felt the Betsy Ross flag is an offensive symbol because of its connection to an era of slavery,” they reported.
It took all of 24 hours for Ducey to retaliate against the move.
Nike has plans to open a multimillion-dollar manufacturing plant in Goodyear, Arizona, where the city council agreed to waive up to nearly $1 million in plan review and permit fees. They would also agree to reimburse Nike another $1 million for the 500 or so jobs that would be created.
“Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision,” wrote Ducey. “I am embarrassed for Nike.”
The governor channeled that disappointment into action, asking the Arizona Commerce Authority “to withdraw all financial incentive dollars under their discretion that the State was providing for the company to locate here.”
Ducey added, “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.”
What’s the saying Nike uses in Kaepernick’s hyperbolic commercial – “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Ducey just sacrificed Nike. He refuses to kowtow to anti-American revisionist history.
Kaepernick’s commercial ends with the phrase, “It’s only crazy until you do it … Just do it.”
Ducey just did it.
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