Days after Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey blasted Nike for its decision to pull its “Betsy Ross flag” sneaker, the Arizona Republican was spotted sporting its gear on Independence Day.
Last week, Nike pulled the plug on the release of a sneaker that features an 18th-century replica of the American flag. The apparel giant created the sneaker to commemorate the July 4th holiday. But NFL free agent, Colin Kaepernick wasn’t having it.
After receiving a complaint from the blacklisted NFL star, Nike released a statement to CNN Business, saying: “Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured an old version of the American flag.”
Gov. Ducey was so outraged by this decision that he yanked $1 million in incentives offered to the company and blasted the move in series of nine Tweets last week. Two days later, “a photo posted on the Coconino County Democratic Party’s Twitter page showed Ducey wearing black-and-white Nike tennis shoes at a Fourth of July barbecue in Flagstaff, Arizona,” USA Today writes.
— Coconino County Democrats (@CoconinoDems) July 5, 2019
“Yes, the Governor owns Nikes. Stop the presses,” spokesman Patrick Ptak said in response to Ducey critics, without confirming the authenticity of the photo. “But this story was about our flag and our founding. The Governor didn’t call for a boycott. He didn’t even say the company wasn’t welcome to do business in Arizona. He said we should be respecting our flag, our history and Betsy Ross.”
Kaepernick reportedly explained to the company that he and others found the “Betsy Ross flag” offensive primarily because of its connection to America’s slave era.
The design has also been used by the Ku Klux Klan and the “militia movement” in recent years, the report states. Nike made clear that it did not want to “unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday.”
In response, Ducey slammed the company in a series of 2 a.m. tweets Tuesday, calling the decision a “shameful retreat.”
“Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision,” he wrote.
“This country, our system of government and free enterprise have allowed (the company) to prosper and flourish,” Ducey added. “Instead of celebrating American history the week of our nation’s independence, Nike has apparently decided that Betsy Ross is unworthy.”
In announcing the withdrawal of $1 million in state incentives to Nike in exchange for a manufacturing plant that would provide hundreds of jobs in Goodyear, Arizona, the govenor noted that “Nike has made its decision, and now we’re making ours,” he wrote. “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.”