Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) devoted nine tweets last week to blasting Nike over its decision to stop selling shoes featuring an early version of the American flag that has at times been used as a symbol for white supremacists. This week, Ducey’s mood apparently changed.
Nike announced Thursday it would open a facility in Goodyear, Arizona, which will generate more than 500 jobs and “result in an investment of at least $184 million.”
“This is good news for Arizona,” Ducey said in a tweet about the announcement. “500 plus jobs. Over $184 million in capital investment. Arizona is open for business, and we welcome @Nike to our state.”
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) July 11, 2019
The warm comments were a reversal from what Ducey tweeted on July 2 when he wrote: “Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike. We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history.”
Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike. We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history. 8/
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) July 2, 2019
Nike removed the shoes ― which featured an early version of the American flag, often referred to as the “Betsy Ross flag” ― from store shelves after activist and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick expressed concerns about the flag’s problematic slave history.
Ducey said last week that he ordered the Arizona Commerce Authority to withdraw financial incentives Nike had been given to build a new manufacturing site in the state, writing that “Nike has made its decision, and now we’re making ours.”
Patrick Ptak, director of communications for the governor’s office, did not respond to an immediate request for comment. But he tweeted about the governor’s latest comments, saying that “nothing has been ‘reversed,’ including the previous rescinding of discretionary dollars.”
Nike, meanwhile, saw a 2% stock increase following its decision to stop selling the flag shoes and added nearly $3 billion in market value, Forbes reported.
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