Governor Ducey To Withdraw AZ Nike Plant Incentives Amid Controversy

Swoosh! And just like that the City of Goodyear’s plans to bring Air Manufacturing Innovation, a Nike subsidiary to Arizona might be done.

The subsidiary makes the famous Nike Air footwear products and had intentions to purchase a multimillion-dollar facility in Goodyear, Arizona. The economic addition would add approximately 500 full-time jobs to the city. City documents reveal that Nike had plans to take possession of an existing building and invest approximately $184.5 million into the initial phase of the project. Operations originally were scheduled to begin sometime in 2020; however, in a series of tweets, Governor Doug Ducey announced that he has ordered the Arizona Commerce Authority to withdraw all financial incentive dollars to encourage Nike to come to the Valley.

Ducey’s action stems from a Wall Street Journal article that details how former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick convinced Nike to cancel their plans for a sneaker that features an early American flag commonly known as the Betsy Ross flag. Kaepernick supposedly found the shoe to be offensive.

“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,” Nike said in a statement to CNN Business following the WSJ report.

“Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision. I am embarrassed for Nike,” Ducey tweeted early Tuesday morning regarding its decision to nix the Betsy Ross sneakers. “Nike is an iconic American brand and American company. This country, our system of government and free enterprise have allowed them to prosper and flourish.

“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. It is a shameful retreat for the company. American businesses should be proud of our country’s history, not abandoning it.

“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. 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.

“And finally, it shouldn’t take a controversy over a shoe for our kids to know who Betsy Ross is. A founding mother. Her story should be taught in all American schools. In the meantime, it’s worth googling her.”

In a protest of racial inequality and police brutality, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback famously declined to stand for the national anthem before an NFL game.  Kaepernick became the face of a Nike ad campaign, with the slogan, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

This turn of events comes just after the Goodyear City Council meeting on Monday night where they unanimously approved the shoemaker’s plan to open a multi-dollar manufacturing facility.