Arizona Pulls State Incentives for Nike Factory After Company Drops ‘Offensive’ Fourth of July Sneaker

Nike Boycott Kaepernick patriotismThe governor of Arizona has withdrawn state incentives for Nike to set up a new manufacturing site after the shoe company reportedly pulled a Fourth of July-themed sneaker because of concerns that it featured an “offensive” older version of the U.S. flag.

Less than 24 hours earlier, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey had welcomed the approval of a Nike Air Manufacturing Innovation plant in West Valley, reportedly worth $184 million.

Then he read a Wall Street Journal article that reported Nike had halted the release of its Independence Day sneakers because former NFL player Colin Kaepernick said that the 13-starred “Betsy Ross flag” was “offensive.”

Writing on Twitter in a series of posts in the early morning of July 2, Ducey said, “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.”

“I am embarrassed for Nike,” Ducey wrote.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Kaepernick complained that the Betsy Ross flag was created in a period of American history when slavery was widespread.

Nike had already shipped out the new Nike Air Max 1 sneaker to stores. Patriotically colored in red, white, and blue, the shoe features the Betsy Rose flag on the heel.

The shoe is still featured in social media advertisements.

“Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July, as it featured the old version of the American flag,” a spokeswoman for the company said, according to Market Watch.

Describing the action as a “shameful retreat,” Ducey said that Nike should be proud of America’s history, not abandon it. “This country, our system of government and free enterprise have allowed them to prosper and flourish,” he wrote.

“Nike has apparently decided that Betsy Ross is unworthy, and has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism.”

In his final post, Ducey wrote: “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.”

According to the WSJ, Kaepernick declined to comment for their report on the withdrawal of the sneaker. Citing sources familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal said that Kaepernick “told the company it shouldn’t sell a shoe with a symbol that he and others consider offensive.”

Kaepernick, who stirred controversy in 2016 by kneeling during the pre-game playing of the U.S. national anthem, teamed with Nike last year to become the face of a new campaign that harnessed his credentials as a protester, rather than as a sportsman.

The new ad marked the 30th anniversary of Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan, and said: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” featuring a closeup of Kaepernick’s face.

Kaepernick, a former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, started kneeling during the national anthem as it played before games in 2016, saying it was a protest against what he perceived as police mistreating minority communities. He also blamed racism. Some other players have followed suit.

On May 23, 2018, the league banned players from taking a knee during the anthem, but allowed them to go to the locker room while it plays.

On July 20, 2018, the NFL shelved the policy while negotiating with the players’ union, the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), which filed a grievance against the anthem policy on July 10.

Kaepernick’s actions proved controversial, and helped propel Nike’s name into the headlines. But many Americans said they would boycott the NFL and Nike because they felt that they were failing to respect “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Many people took to social media to post videos of themselves burning NFL products and beloved Nike sneakers.

The cancellation of the Fourth of July sneaker prompted a similar response from some people.

“I’m so tired of this!” wrote one person on Facebook. “I’ve worn Nike all my life. I don’t own any other brand of shoe. But now, I will be looking to support a different company with my dollars!”

Another wrote, “Hey Nike, what about the rest of the US that didn’t think it was offensive, you have lost my business.”

Reprinted with permission from - The Epoch Times - by Simon Veazey

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Thank you to Arizona’s governor for standing up against these atrositites. It’s time to rein in the oppressors.

Rick J.

How sad, when a third rate, washed up NFL reject can pull the chain of an major American corp. EVERY ONE
Email Nike and tell where to stick product. BOYCOTT NIKE !!!!


I fully support Arizonas stand, I will no longer purchase anything Nike makes or sells.

Robert Ferrell

Thank God, can I say that, for men like the Arizona Governor who has taken a stand for American history as it was.
Betsy Ross was a patroiate and loved our country and created that American Flag to encourage pride in our new country as it was back then. She truly was an American patroiate not a racist!

Bo Dalton

There is no older version of the American flag that is offensive and anyone that thinks is is should not be in America nor benefit from it’s rewards or grace. I compliment Arizona and only wish decrepit States like CA, OR, WA, NY, IL, and some others would wake up before we have to give them a wake up call !!!


Boycott Nike? I don’t even shop where they are sold. And other places for their crazy policies. 👍 to Governor Ducey. If Kapernuckle wants Communism, let he and Nike and the NFL move to Venezuela.

Nancy Langley

Arizona so proud of you.

Buddy Saunders

My family will NEVER buy any Nike product. NEVER. We are pro America. Nike is not. If Nike finds the original Betsy Ross flag offensive, then it follows that Nike finds offensive ALL subsequent American flags, and by extension sees our nation itself as offensive. Hats off to the governor of Arizona for dumping Nike. I hope the governor of my own state, Texas, will likewise sanction Nike. I recently drove back to Texas from California. The trip was all business, the only reason I’d go that benighted state. I noticed that once I was in Arizona, signs supporting God and country were common, as they are in Texas and most of the country, once one gets away from the two left coasts.


How does a has been football player, whose name I won’t mention (K) get to dictate what a company should do or not do and the worst
of it Nike listened to him. Shame on Nike. If this jerk is so offended by our great American Flag, then he should move to another
Country. Maybe he would like their flag better. The Arizona Governor deserves a world of credit standing up to Nike and canceling their
contract in Arizona. To top it all, Nike had created a great July 4th shoe. What a shame!

Joe Sowa

When will the sports teams of America stop wearing Nike uniforms that say in a single “swish emblem” that they support the company that bows to those who hate America.


Bravo Governor Ducey! Nike has become a Un-American Company!
I’m boycotting their Products


Thank you Arizona and go take a hike Kappy!

Nancy Levey

Proud of Arizona


Go Arizona! I’m happy someone was willing to take a stand!!!

Larry Gibson

Good for Arizona, I WILL NO LONGER support Nike either,

Barbara Lynch

Who the hell does this guy think he is? I have never bought any Niki product, and I tell my family & friends not to buy any of their products. If they get hit in the wallet maybe they will wake up.


Thank you!

Barbara Williams

Yeah Arizona.

Linda Noble

Great move


Money talks, American history goes down again.