Arizona governor slammed for a photo showing him wearing Nike shoes 2 days after yanking incentives for a new Nike plant over ‘Betsy Ross flag’ sneakers

  • Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is facing criticism for a photograph showing him wearing Nike shoes on Thursday.
  • Ducey on Tuesday yanked financial incentives for a new Nike plant in response to the company’s canceled “Betsy Ross flag” sneakers.
  • The Coconino County Democratic Party tweeted the photo on Thursday with the caption: “Wow, @dougducey standing on principle wearing his Nikes for the 4th of July.”
  • In response to the photo, a spokesman for Ducey told Business Insider, “Yes, the governor owns Nikes. Stop the presses.” He said the governor did not call for a boycott against Nike.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is facing criticism online for a photograph showing him wearing Nike shoes on Thursday, two days after he yanked financial incentives for a Nike plant in response to the company’s canceled “Betsy Ross flag” sneakers.

Arizona’s Coconino County Democratic Party tweeted the photo on Thursday evening with the caption: “Wow, @dougducey standing on principle wearing his Nikes for the 4th of July.”

The group told Business Insider that the photo was taken at a Fourth of July event in Forest Highlands, a gated community in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Doug Ducey

source
Coconino County Democratic Party

In response to an inquiry about the photo, a spokesman for Ducey told Business Insider: “Really? Yes, the governor owns Nikes. Stop the presses.”

“The governor didn’t call for a boycott,” he said. “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.”

Some people on Twitter criticized the photo and called Ducey a “hypocrite” for wearing Nike shoes after attacking the company days earlier.

On Tuesday, Ducey said in a series of tweets that he had ordered the state to rescind incentives for Nike to build a $185 million plant that would bring 500 jobs to Arizona. The incentives were worth up to $1 million, CBS News reported.

Ducey said he planned to axe the incentives in response to Nike’s decision to cancel the release of a sneaker featuring a version of the US flag, called the “Betsy Ross flag,” which was created during the American Revolution.

“Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike,” Ducey tweeted on July 2. “We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history.”

Nike said on Tuesday that it canceled the “Betsy Ross flag” sneaker because it could “offend and detract” from the Fourth of July.

“Nike made the decision to halt distribution of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that Nike pulled the shoes after the former NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who endorses Nike, said he found the flag design offensive because of its association with a time of slavery in America.