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Arizona cancels incentive for Nike plant after 'terrible decision' to recall sneaker: governor

Arizona cancels incentive for Nike plant after 'terrible decision' to recall sneaker: governor

Postby smix » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:19 am

Arizona cancels incentive for Nike plant after 'terrible decision' to recall sneaker: governor
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-nike ... SKCN1TX1W6
Category: Politics
Published: July 2, 2019

Description: (Reuters) - Arizona’s governor on Tuesday withdrew a $1 million incentive for Nike Inc (NKE.N) to build a plant in the state after the world’s largest sportswear maker canceled release of a sneaker featuring a colonial-era version of the American flag, which critics say reflects links to slavery. Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, said Nike’s move was a “terrible decision.” Nike recalled the shoe after former NFL quarterback and Nike pitchman Colin Kaepernick asked the company not to sell a shoe with a symbol that he and others consider offensive because of its connection to an era of slavery, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. Nike had planned to release a new version of the Air Max 1 sneaker ahead of the Fourth of July holiday that featured a version of the U.S. flag with 13 white stars representing the first U.S. colonies. The flag is commonly known as the “Betsy Ross flag.”

betsy-ross.jpg

“Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision. I am embarrassed for Nike,” Ducey said in a series of tweets on the recall. “Instead of celebrating American history the week of our nation’s independence, Nike has apparently decided that Betsy Ross is unworthy, and has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism,” he said. Nike, whose shares ended down marginally at $84.96, released a statement explaining its decision to yank the product. “We regularly make business decisions to withdraw initiatives, products and services,” the company said. “NIKE made the decision to halt distribution of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday.” The Beaverton, Oregon-based company is one of a slew of retailers that have faced major backlash over products that draw criticism for being racially insensitive. In December, Prada pulled products accused of depicting blackface. On Monday, reality TV star and businesswoman Kim Kardashian said she would rename her Kimono shapewear line after people in Japan said her use of the term was disrespectful. Ducey, who was joined by many conservatives including Republican Senator Ted Cruz in expressing his disappointment toward Nike, said he had ordered the state’s commerce authority to withdraw all financial incentives under its discretion for the company’s plant. Nike was eligible for up to a $1 million grant, a spokeswoman at the Arizona Commerce Authority said, for a $185 million plant in Goodyear, Arizona, that would employ over 500 people. Kaepernick last year became the face of Nike’s advertisement marking the 30th anniversary of the company’s “Just Do It” slogan. The ad revived a raging debate in the United States that started in 2016 when Kaepernick, then with the San Francisco 49ers, began kneeling to protest multiple police shootings of unarmed black men. Since then, the company’s stock has risen about 4% as of Monday’s close. This year, Nike’s shares are up 15%. One industry expert recalled Nike experiencing “one of its best quarters” after the Kaepernick campaign launch and said the chances of this sneaker controversy hurting company sales, which total roughly $39 billion annually, were “largely nil.” “I think it’s important to understand who Nike’s core demographic is here,” said Matt Powell, senior industry adviser at NPD. “They’re really focused on teens and looking at the commentary on Twitter and so forth. I don’t see a lot of teens coming out with a negative attitude here.”
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McConnell slams Nike's decision to cancel Betsy Ross flag sneakers amid backlash

Postby smix » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:37 am

McConnell slams Nike's decision to cancel Betsy Ross flag sneakers amid backlash
CNN

URL: https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/02/politics ... index.html
Category: Politics
Published: July 2, 2019

Description: Washington (CNN) - GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday criticized Nike's decision to cancel a sneaker that featured the "Betsy Ross" version of the American flag amidst backlash over the company's use of the late 18th century design. "I read today that instead of celebrating the birth of our nation, a shoe company has deemed the flag, which flew during our Independence, too offensive ... too offensive to put on a pair of shoes," McConnell said at an event in Kentucky.

nike-air-max-1-independence-day.jpg

A Nike spokesperson told CNN that the company decided to halt distribution of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July shoe "based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation's patriotic holiday." "We regularly make business decisions to withdraw initiatives, products and services," Nike told CNN in a statement. McConnell said Tuesday that "If we're in a political environment where the American Flag has become controversial to Americans, I think we've got a problem. McConnell said he hopes Nike either reneges its decision and releases the limited-edition shoe, or that a different designer picks up the idea and sells shoes featuring the same version of the flag. "I'll make the first order," he said. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that Nike delivered the sneakers to retailers, but asked stores to return them to Nike after the company received a complaint from former NFL star Colin Kaepernick, according to people familiar with the situation. The Journal reported, based on those unnamed sources, that indicated Kaepernick said he and others found the flag offensive because it dates to periods of American history when African-Americans were enslaved. Kaepernick could not immediately be reached for comment. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona on Tuesday ordered a financial incentive package for Nike to be withdrawn because the company canceled the sneaker. The shoe was set to be released Monday for $140, according to Sneakernews.com. The website included photos of a shoe that featured a version of the American flag with 13 stars organized in a circle and 13 stripes. That version of the flag, according to the Smithsonian, was used in the United States from 1777 to 1795.
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Nike Backs Kaepernick: Cancels ‘Offensive’ Betsy Ross Flag Shoes.

Postby smix » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:20 am

Nike Backs Kaepernick: Cancels ‘Offensive’ Betsy Ross Flag Shoes.
Human Events

URL: https://humanevents.com/2019/07/02/nike ... offensive/
Category: Politics
Published: July 2, 2019

Description: “Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured the old version of the American flag,” a spokesperson for Nike stated. The sneaker in question is red, white, and blue, and features the Revolutionary War era American flag with a circle of thirteen stars, known as the ‘Betsy Ross flag’, on the heel. The sneaker was specially made for Independence Day, and had already been shipped to retailers. Nike ordered the shoe be sent back before it hit the shelves, and it is not available on their website. Sources told the Wall Street Journal former National Football League (NFL) quarterback Colin Kaepernick contacted Nike after seeing photos of the shoe and requested they not sell it. Kaepernick allegedly told the athletic company the Betsy Ross flag offended him and others, as it represented a time of slavery in the United States.

kaepernick-betsy-ross.jpg

Kaepernick has a history with both the American flag and Nike. The quarterback began the protest of kneeling during the National Anthem at the beginning of NFL games starting in 2016. It was not a surprise after his repeated stunts that Kaepernick was not picked up by any other team after opting out of his contract with the San Fransisco 49ers. In the heat of the controversy that divided the nation, Nike released a ‘Dream Crazy’ ad with Kaepernick, making him the face of their ‘Just Do It’ campaign. The ad featured a close up of Kaepernick and read: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Many asked what Kaepernick sacrificed. His career? The quarterback opted out of his contract before the 49ers let him go. And what did he believe in? Kaepernick claims he was protesting police brutality and other misdeeds against minorities, particularly African-Americans. This provoked the question: was the beginning of a football game and during the anthem of the country that had given him so much the appropriate place and time for his actions? Now that Kaepernick does not have to worry about a professional football career, he can focus on being a full-time social justice warrior, fighting the nation that gave him his career and platform.
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