Arizona governor slams Nike for recalling ‘Betsy Ross flag’ shoe

Gov. Doug Ducey tweeted Tuesday that “Nike has ... bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism.”

SHARE Arizona governor slams Nike for recalling ‘Betsy Ross flag’ shoe
This Dec. 24, 2016 photo shows San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick talking during a news conference after an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams.

This Dec. 24, 2016 photo shows San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick talking during a news conference after an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams.

AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

Arizona governor Doug Ducey ripped Nike on Tuesday for its decision to cancel the release of a shoe featuring an early design of the U.S. flag, commonly known as the “Betsy Ross flag.”

Ina series of tweets early Tuesday morning, Ducey called the decision “a shameful retreat.” He alsosaid the state will now withhold incentive dollars that it had offered the company to opena manufacturing plant outside Phoenix.

“Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision,” Ducey wrote inpart of his statement on Twitter. “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.

“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.”

According toa report from The Wall Street Journal on Monday, Nike decided to recall the shoe from retailers after former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick contacted the company and told them that he and others find the symbol offensive. The “Betsy Ross flag” has been appropriated by some extremist groups as a symbol of white nationalism.

“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,” the company said in a statement provided to USA TODAY Sports.

While Kaepernick’s reported involvement in the matter made waves on social media Monday night, Ducey’s tweets indicate that Nike’s decision to cancel the release of the shoe will have significant financial consequences.

The city council in Goodyear, Arizona, voted Monday to approve plans to construct a multimillion-dollar Nike manufacturing plant in the city. The agreement included a promise to waive $1 million in plan review and permit fees and reimburse Nike an additional $1 million as a thank you for the estimated 550 jobs the plant will create.

Attempts to reach Kaepernick were immediately unsuccessful.

Contributing: Joshua Bowling, The Arizona Republic

Read more at usatoday.com

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