Arizona governor withdraws Nike financial incentives over Kaepernick controversy

Michael David Smith

Nike confirmed on Monday that it canceled plans to produce a shoe featuring the Betsy Ross American flag, reportedly because Colin Kaepernick told Nike executives that the symbol is offensive. On Tuesday, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey promised that Nike’s decision would have consequences.

Specifically, Ducey said Nike would lose money it was slated to receive in the form of waived fees and tax breaks for its planned 500-employee manufacturing plant in Phoenix.

“It is a shameful retreat for the company. American businesses should be proud of our country’s history, not abandoning it,” Ducey tweeted. “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.”

Kaepernick, who began kneeling for the national anthem during the 2016 preseason, has been out of the NFL the last two years. Nike began featuring him in a commercial campaign last year.