Goodyear, Arizona to honor Nike plant commitment as governor withdraws incentives

SAN FRANCISCO CALIFORNIA- JUNE 01 California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during the California Democrats 2019 State Convention at the Moscone Center

Gavin Newsom Nike Represents the ‘Best of our American Values’ 80 Justin Sullivan GettyJOSHUA CAPLAN3 Jul 2019

If anyone had ever told me 25 years ago that any American would be outraged or triggered by the 1776 Betsy Ross flag I would have laughed and said they were insane.

The hammer and sickle was a worldwide symbol of communism in the 20th century, when the United States and its allies waged the Cold War against the Soviet Union and the wider communist world.

The Betsy Ross flag has always been acknowledged as the first to use the stripes, stars, and the colors red, white, and blue which have now come to symbolize the United States.

Nike has walked back its decision to release a red, white and blue version of its Air Max 1 sneakers ahead of the July 4 holiday.

Mark Pitcavage, a senior research fellow with the ADL's Center of Extremism, said that groups like the Ku Klux Klan have used the flag but would associate other symbols more commonly with white supremacy.

When news of the recall broke earlier in the week, Ducey immediately jumped on it, calling it a "shameful retreat" and saying that Nike should be proud of the country's history.

Amid the recent decision by Nike to remove the Betsy Ross flag from its shoe line, nationally-known muralist Scott LoBaido protested in front of the company's headquarters while he painted one of his trademark flags on the Fourth of July.

The design was created in the 1770s and represents the 13 original colonies, according to the Smithsonian.

"We regularly make business decisions to withdraw initiatives, products and services", Nike said, Bloomberg reported. On Tuesday, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said he's rescinding financial incentives recently offered to Nike to build a $185 million plant and bring 500 jobs to the state. Opponents of the flag also allege that the symbol has been co-opted by white supremacist groups.

David Martosko, a political editor at The Daily Mail, posted one of the images from the 2013 inauguration with the caption, "That Betsy Ross flag sure fell out of fashion quickly".

As of market close on Friday, Nike shares were up 2 percent in just three days, which added a whopping $3 billion to Nike's market value, which closed at $136.38 billion on Friday. And my hope is that they didn't just do it to do it.

Nike planned to release the shoe on Monday and priced at $140 to commemorate Independence Day in the U.S., but pulled the plug on its launch after Kaepernick's qualm with its flag feature. Arizona's state commerce authority, which falls under the governor's jurisdiction, was set to deliver an additional $1 million in incentives.

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