Arizona governor says he's 'embarrassed for Nike' after it pulls Betsy Ross Flag sneaker design over racism concerns

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    Nike has pulled the Betsy Ross Flag design over concerns raised by Colin Kaepernick. (Photo: Nike)Nike has pulled the Betsy Ross Flag design over concerns raised by Colin Kaepernick. (Photo: Nike)

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    Nike has pulled the Betsy Ross Flag design over concerns raised by Colin Kaepernick. (Photo: Nike)
    <p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="On Monday,&nbsp;Nike&nbsp;announced that it&nbsp;would not be releasing an Independence Day-themed Air Max 1 sneaker design&nbsp;over concerns raised by brand ambassador, former NFL star and activist&nbsp;Colin Kaepernick&nbsp;that the shoe’s Betsy Ross Flag tribute celebrated the slavery era and had been co-opted by white nationalists. The shoe launch had been timed to mark July 4.” data-reactid=”31″>On Monday, Nike announced that it would not be releasing an Independence Day-themed Air Max 1 sneaker design over concerns raised by brand ambassador, former NFL star and activist Colin Kaepernick that the shoe’s Betsy Ross Flag tribute celebrated the slavery era and had been co-opted by white nationalists. The shoe launch had been timed to mark July 4.

    “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,” a spokesman for the brand said.

    Nike’s decision has set off a series of scathing tweets from Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. On Tuesday, the Republican leader blasted Nike for “making a shameful retreat” and “abandoning” American history, adding that he was “embarrassed for Nike.”

    What’s more, Ducey announced that, in response to the dis against “founding mother” Ross, he has “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.”

    <p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="On Monday, the same day Nike announced its plans to boot the Betsy Ross Flag shoe, the city council in Goodyear, Ariz. voted unanimously to approve the company’s plans to set up its third manufacturing facility. According to the&nbsp;Arizona Republic, Nike’s deal with the city of Goodyear would see the creation of at least 505 full-time jobs within five years.” data-reactid=”41″>On Monday, the same day Nike announced its plans to boot the Betsy Ross Flag shoe, the city council in Goodyear, Ariz. voted unanimously to approve the company’s plans to set up its third manufacturing facility. According to the Arizona Republic, Nike’s deal with the city of Goodyear would see the creation of at least 505 full-time jobs within five years.

    SCOTTSDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 06: Republican Gov. Doug Ducey celebrates his victory at an election night event for Arizona GOP candidates on November 6, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Ducey defeated Democratic challenger David Garcia. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)SCOTTSDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 06: Republican Gov. Doug Ducey celebrates his victory at an election night event for Arizona GOP candidates on November 6, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Ducey defeated Democratic challenger David Garcia. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

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    Gov. Ducey accused Nike of making a “shameful retreat” after the brand pulled the Betsy Ross sneakers. (Photo: Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

    But Ducey is now pulling state support for the deal.

    “Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike,” he tweeted. “We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history.”

    He ended his thread with a message of support for Betsy Ross.

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

    Ducey’s rant has divided commenters, with some cheering him for calling out Nike and “standing up for what’s right.”

    Others questioned his outrage and voiced support for Nike.

    Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has also decried Nike’s actions, accusing the brand of trying to appeal to “people who hate the American flag.”

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