Nike has canceled launch plans for a 4th of July release of an Air Max 1 sneaker that features the original 13-star U.S. flag on the heel. According to the Wall Street Journal decision was made after Nike sponsored-athlete Colin Kaepernick reached out to the brand and noted the flag has been picked up by white nationalist groups because of its connection to an era when slavery in the United States was still allowed.
In a press statement, the Beaverton-based company stated, “Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured an old version of the American flag.”
In response to Nike’s decision, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey today (July 2, 2019) announced he plan to order the Arizona Commerce Authority to withdraw incentives provided to Nike to build a manufacturing plant in the state. In a series of tweets, Ducey wrote, “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.”
Historically, Arizona has a checkered past when it comes to civil rights issues. It was among the last states to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a national holiday and only did so in 1992 after the NFL chose to relocate the Super Bowl from the state for not recognizing the holiday.
And while he later expressed regret for his vote, then Arizona Senator McCain was one of 22 senators who voted against passage of a 1983 recognizing Martin Luther King Day as a national holiday.
Check out Ducey’s tweets below.