Arizona governor says state will pull incentives for Nike over Betsy Ross shoe decision

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) on Tuesday announced that he will ask the state's commerce authority to pull financial incentives for Nike after the company decided not to release a Betsy Ross flag sneaker.

Ducey slammed the move to pull the sneaker, a decision which was reportedly influenced by former NFL quarterback and activist Colin Kaepernick, as the company bowing "to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism."

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Nike was planning a "major" investment in Goodyear, Ariz., Ducey said. He said that he has ordered the Arizona Commerce Authority to withdraw financial incentives it had been providing Nike to locate there. 

"Today was supposed to be a good day in Arizona, with the announcement of a major @Nike investment in Goodyear, AZ," the governor said in the first of a nine-tweet thread. 

"And then this news broke yesterday afternoon," he added, linking to an article about the company's decision to nix the Betsy Ross shoe. "Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision. I am embarrassed for Nike."

"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," he continued. "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."

He added that 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," he wrote.  

The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the matter, reported Monday that Nike decided not to sell the shoe after Kaepernick told the company, for which he has been a spokesman, that it shouldn't sell the shoe because some find the symbol offensive. 

Nike told The Hill in a statement on Tuesday that it regularly makes business decisions to withdraw products. 

"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," the company said. 

It added that it is "proud of its American heritage and our continuing engagement supporting thousands of American athletes including the US Olympic team and US Soccer teams."

Kaepernick was the first NFL player in 2016 to kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality.

His contract ended at the end of that season and he has not been signed by another NFL team in the years following his protest.