While Arizona governor Doug Doucey may have grabbed all the headlines with blustering talk about removing $1 million in incentives for Nike to open a factory in the state, the mayor of Goodyear, Arizona, where the factory is slated to open, is having the final word.
In response to Nike pulling an Air Max 1 sneaker detailed with a 13-star flag that has become controversial because of its association with racist groups, Doucey published a series of tweets at 2:00 AM on Tuesday (July 2, 2019) declaring the state was pulling all incentives for Nike to build a factory in the state.
Responding to the fracas early in the evening on the same day, Mayor Georgia Lord stated on Instagram, “Last night the Goodyear City Council unanimously approved a job creation agreement with Nike. The deal is expected to bring more than 500 jobs and significant investment to our city. We will honor the commitment we made in our agreement.”
Meanwhile, Doucey manage to find himself in the headlines again when he was photographed at a 4th of July barbecue sporting a pair of Nike sneakers. When contacted by USA Today about the hypocritical footwear choice, his spokesperson Patrick Ptak in a email scoffed, “Really? Yes, the governor owns Nikes. Stop the presses, but this story was about our flag and our founding. The governor didn’t call for a boycott. 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.”
As for the 13-star flag in question, it’s not clear if Ross was responsible for designing it. At the same time, the Anti-Defamation League views the flag’s connection with hate groups as a relatively weak one compared with other symbols.