The mayor of an Arizona city that promised financial incentives to Nike for them to build a shoe manufacturing plant there has dismissed a threat by the state's governor to yank the funding, saying the city would "honor the commitment we made."
Georgia Lord, the mayor of Goodyear, said Tuesday the city would still offer Nike financial incentives worth more than $1 million in fees, despite the governor's threats.
“This deal is expected to bring more than 500 jobs and significant investment to our city," Lord said Tuesday. "We will honor the commitment we made in our agreement.”
Gov. Doug Ducey said Tuesday he would instruct the state's commerce authority to yank its financial incentives for Nike after the shoe company decided to pull a Betsy Ross-inspired flag sneaker design from store shelves. Nike pulled the controversial sneakers after former NFL player Colin Kaepernick raised concerns that the Betsy Ross designed flag had become a symbol for many racist groups online as well as it connection to slavery.
"Nike has made its decision, and now we’re making ours. I’ve ordered the Arizona Commerce Authority to withdraw all financial incentive dollars under their discretion that the State was providing for the company to locate here," Ducey wrote Tuesday morning.
"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," Ducey added.
Nike has been planning to build a manufacturing plant in Phoenix, which will bring about 500 jobs to the area. The Goodyear City Council, where the plant would be located, offered Nike a waiver of up to nearly $1 million in review and permit fees as well as reimburse up to $1 million for the jobs the plant would have created, according to The Arizona Republic. The plant will bring more than $7.7 million in direct revenue for the city, Goodyear estimates.
Nike said the company choose "not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured the old version of the American flag."
The sneakers were scheduled to be released on Monday and were priced at $140.
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