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Governor Doug Ducey reverses stance, "welcomes" Nike facility to Goodyear

Posted at 1:47 PM, Jul 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-11 20:10:18-04

GOODYEAR — Just over a week after Arizona Governor Doug Ducey tweeted that "Arizona's economy is doing just fine without Nike," a rebuke to the company's decision to stop making a shoe featuring the Betsy Ross-inspired American flag, Ducey calmed his language, tweeting "we welcome Nike to our state."

On Thursday, Nike reaffirmed its plans to open a large manufacturing facility in Goodyear, Arizona and said it would bring $180 million in investments and 500 full-time jobs to the state.

In a series of tweets in the early morning of July 2, Governor Ducey announced that he had ordered the Arizona Commerce Authority to withdraw all financial incentive dollars that were meant to encourage Nike into adding a manufacturing plant in the Valley.

A spokesperson for the Arizona Commerce Authority on Thursday told ABC15 that those financial incentives that were withdrawn will not be reinstated for Nike.

Ducey's decision stems from a Wall Street Journal report that said former NFL quarterback-turned-social justice activist Colin Kaepernick convinced Nike to pull its sneakers featuring an early American flag commonly known as the "Betsy Ross flag." Kaepernick reportedly found the shoe to be offensive.

On Thursday afternoon, Governor Ducey then tweeted that the Nike plant is "good news" for Arizona and that over 500 jobs would be brought to the Valley.