Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) was criticized online after he was spotted wearing a pair of Nike sneakers on Thursday, days after the Republican lawmaker announced plans to have the state's commerce authority to pull financial incentives for the brand over its decision to yank a Betsy Ross flag-themed sneaker.
In a photo shared on the official Twitter page for the Coconino County Democrats on Thursday, the governor is seen sporting a pair of black and white Nikes at an outing on the Fourth of July.
“Wow, @dougducey standing on principle wearing his Nikes for the 4th of July,” the group captioned the photo on Twitter, adding the “#nikeboycott” and “#Nike” hashtags.
Steve Irvin, a reporter at ABC15 Phoenix, said his station was able to confirm the picture of the governor was taken at a barbecue celebrating Independence Day on Thursday.
“We've confirmed this,” he tweeted. “Three days after blasting Nike for pulling a patriotic shoe, Gov Ducey was sporting the swoosh at a 4th of July BBQ today. #ShoeGate.”
Many online took issue with the photo, including Arizona state Rep. Athena Salman (D), noting a days-old thread of tweets shared by the governor blasting Nike for its reported decision to pull a Betsy Ross flag-themed sneaker after former NFL star-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick and others expressed concerns over the flag's tie to the era of slavery in the United States.
At the time, Ducey said he was "embarrassed for Nike," telling his followers, "Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision."
"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 continued.
"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," the Arizona Republican added.