The State of New Mexico is actively pursuing the Nike company in the hope that the tennis shoe giant may be interested in building a new production facility in the Land of Enchantment.
The move comes after Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced that he was instructing Arizona’s Commerce Authority to withdraw earlier offered financial incentives for Nike to build in that state.
Ducey made that announcement when it was learned that Nike was cancelling a new design for its Air Max 1 Quick Strike shoes featuring a circular American flag with 13 stars.
That thirteen-star image, thought to be designed in the 1770s by seamstress Betsy Ross, represented America’s thirteen colonies.
But former National Football League quarterback Colin Kaepernick soon sent a message to Nike saying that the thirteen star symbol was offensive due to the existence of slavery in those early colonies.
Kaepernick also said the Betsy Ross flag had been “co-opted by groups espousing racist ideologies.”
Nike officials then announced they were pulling back on the thirteen stars logo, which is what prompted Ducey to pull back some $1 million in state incentives to get the Nike factory built in Arizona.
Ducey said he made that decision because he was angry with Nike for bowing to “the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism.”
Ducey added that “instead of celebrating American history, the work of our nation’s independence, Nike has apparently decided that Betsy Ross is unworthy.”
Nike officials had earlier announced plans to purchase an existing structure in Goodyear, spending up to $184 million on facility upgrading and construction.
Work on that facility was expected to begin soon, with the plant becoming operational sometime next year.
Responding to the Nike/Arizona controversy New Mexico, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham sent a Twitter message to the shoe company saying, “Let’s talk.”
A spokesperson for the Governor said she was reaching out to Nike in order to “explore whether there’s a potential fit,” regarding the shoe giant building its new plant in New Mexico instead of Arizona.
The Beaverton, Oregon-based Nike has not yet responded publicly to Governor Lujan Grisham’s message.
Nike currently operates more than five hundred production facilities globally, 42 of which are in the U.S.
By Garry Boulard
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