Nike Inc lost a $1 million incentive in Arizona when it cancelled the release of a sneaker having a colonial-era version of the American flag. The decision by the company was taken after facing criticism for the flag that it reflects links to slavery, but that move resulted in a reaction by state’s governor who then announced to withdraw the incentive which was granted to build a plant in the state.
Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, called the move by the world’s largest sportswear maker as “terrible decision.”
Recalling the shoe by Nike was an effort to address the concerns of former NFL quarterback and face of Nike’s advertisement Colin Kaepernick, who asked the company that he and others are in view that Nike should not sell a shoe bearing symbol which is offensive as it is linked to an era of slavery, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.
The disputed shoe was Nike’s new version of Air Max 1 sneaker featuring a version of the U.S. flag, commonly known as the “Betsy Ross flag”, with 13 white stars representing the first U.S. colonies and was planned to be released ahead of Fourth of July holiday.
My disappointment at this terrible decision of Nike cannot be expressed in words, and I am embarrassed for the company, Ducey said in a series of tweets on the Nike’s decision of recall.
It seems that Nike decided that Betsy Ross is unworthy, and instead of joining the celebration of American history the week of our nation’s independence, it has bowed to the historical revisionism and current offense of political correctness, he said.
To explain its decision to pull the product, Nike released a statement saying that company is in regular practice of making business decision of withdrawing products, services and incentives.
Company made the decision of stop distribution of Air Max 1 Quick Strike ahead of Fourth of July to avoid possibility of unintentional offend and detraction from the nation’s patriotic holiday, it said.