PHOENIX — Arizona is landing a new Nike plant despite what a week ago appeared to be efforts by Gov. Doug Ducey to blow up the plan.

And now he’s a cheerleader.

“This is good news for Arizona,’’ the governor said in an afternoon Twitter post Thursday, citing the more than 500 jobs and $184 million in capital investment by Nike to build part of its Air line of sneakers in Goodyear. “We welcome @Nike to our state.’’

But an aide to the governor said he has not backed down from his decision to rescind an offer by the Arizona Commerce Authority to provide a $1 million incentive to land the plant after Nike decided not to distribute a new line of shoes with a picture of the Betsy Ross flag, the one with 13 stars in a circle.

The Wall Street Journal reported that former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernik, who has been featured in Nike ads, told the company the flag is a reminder to the black community of the slavery that was occurring at the same time in the 18th century. Nike said at the time it halted distribution “based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday.’’

But Ducey, in a series of nine tweets at 2 a.m. on July 2, said the company “has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism.’’

“It is a shameful retreat for the company,’’ the governor continued, saying American businesses should be proud of the country’s history, not abandoning it. And that, he said, made Nike unworthy of the state incentive.

“We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history,’’ Ducey wrote.

Following Despite Ducey’s tweetstorm and rescission of the grant, Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord reassured Nike that her city would still honor the commitments it made for about $1 million in incentives and a similar amount in fee waivers.

Nike said Thursday it will begin renovating an existing building later this summer, with production of Nike Air soles expected to start in early 2020.

In a prepared statement Eric Sprunk, Nike’s chief operating officer, thanked both the state and the city “for their partnership,’’ making no mention of the lost $1 million state grant.

0
0
0
0
3

(7) comments

HavasuGuy

I think you both missed the point. Our elected officials need to STOP giving away our tax dollars to corporate buddies. Nike (and any other profit driven company) doesn't need or care about the free money that our politicians were luring them here with. They are coming here because the labor and atmosphere are good for business. Douchy pulled OUR tax dollars from them because of political reasons. I don't care which side of the issue you fall on, he took OUR money from them. He shouldn't be giving OUR money to anyone, it is supposed to go towards running the state. I'm tired of elected officials using our tax dollars for their political motives - period!

dougleonard6

[thumbup][beam][beam][thumbup]

HwyRovr

I fully agree with you Guy. Handing over tax dollars to provide "incentives" is something I have been against for years. I watched sad little towns in Colorado during the 1970s/80s had over incentives to build facilities for companies that showed up just long enough to "run out" the incentives and then leave sticking the communities with large buildings and infrastructure bills that, most likely, have yet to be paid off.

VA172

So much for all the liberals saying that there would be job losses.

HwyRovr

So much for all the Conservatives ignoring their governor and going to work for this "unAmerican" company. And BTW the talk of job losses was based on Nike NOT coming here because of Gov Douchey - try to keep up.

VA172

Some more Hwy BS. Twist it some more to make you look right. Most of us know better.

dougleonard6

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.