Arizona will withdraw financial incentives for Nike Inc’s (NKE.N) manufacturing plant in the state after the sportswear maker pulled the release of a sneaker that featured a colonial-era version of the American flag, Governor Doug Ducey said on Tuesday.
The world’s largest sportswear maker recalled the shoe after former NFL quarterback and Nike sponsor Colin Kaepernick asked the company not to sell a shoe with a symbol that he and others consider offensive because of its connection to an era of slavery, the Wall Street Journal reported here on Monday.
Nike had planned to release a new version of the Air Max 1 sneaker ahead of the Fourth of July holiday that featured a version of the U.S. flag with 13 white stars representing the first U.S. colonies. The flag is commonly known as the “Betsy Ross flag.”
«Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision. I am embarrassed for Nike,» Ducey, a Republican, said in a series of tweets here on the recall.
“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 said.
Nike did not immediately respond to requests for comment about Ducey’s decision.
On Monday, a Nike spokesperson said it had “chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured an old version of the American flag.”