Nike’s plans to reportedly invest a minimum of $185 million into a new Goodyear, AZ, facility for its Air Manufacturing Innovation subsidiary saw a new development on Tuesday when Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced on Twitter that he was directing the state commerce authority to withhold all financial incentives planned for the factory after the Beaverton, OR-based athletic giant pulled a limited-edition Air Max 1 sneaker. The shoe, intended to celebrate Independence Day, featured a graphic of an early American flag designed by Betsy Ross, and was reportedly pulled after objections from Nike athlete Colin Kaepernick.
“Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision. I am embarrassed for Nike. Instead of celebrating American history the week of our nation’s independence, Nike has apparently decided that Betsy Ross is unworthy, and has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism,” Ducey wrote on his official Twitter account. “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.”
The factory, slated to begin operations sometime next year, will employee more than 500 full-time staffers. It will become Nike’s third in the U.S., joining existing manufacturing operations in Beaverton, OR, and St. Charles, MO, that together employ more than 1,500 people. It’s unclear the value of the monetary incentives being offered the company are under the control of the state’s commerce authority; according to CNN, the city of Goodyear agreed to waive $1 million in permit and review fees and agreed to reimburse Nike up to $1 million for the jobs created.