Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has withdrawn the state’s financial incentives to Nike following the sports gear giant’s decision to cancel a sneaker featuring the “Betsy Ross” American flag, CNN reports. On Twitter, Ducey said he was disappointed in the “terrible” decision and claimed he was “embarrassed for Nike,” and ordered the Arizona Commerce Authority to withdraw tax incentives the state was supplying for a factory to be built near Phoenix. On Monday night, The Wall Street Journal reported the athletic shoe was pulled from the market after criticism from Nike consultant/exiled NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is said to have objected to the colonial-era flag as a symbol for slave owners. Nike had previously agreed to purchase a location in the state by June 2020 and invest as much as $185 million to expand over three years. “Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike,” Ducey said. “We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history.”
In a statement Tuesday, Nike said it was pulling the sneaker off the shelves “based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nations patriotic holiday.” The company also said it was “proud of its American heritage,” pointing to its support of American athletes and commitment to creating hundreds of new U.S. jobs.