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Nike to proceed with Phoenix-area factory after Betsy Ross flap

Doug Ducey
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey talks to reporters outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington. Ducey is yanking a grant of up to $1 million from Nike amid a report that the athletic company pulled a flag-themed shoe from the market.
(Susan Walsh / AP)

Nike Inc. is proceeding with a new factory in Arizona after a flap with Republican Gov. Doug Ducey led to speculation that the project was up in the air.

The athletic-apparel company announced the plans on Thursday, saying the new plant — located outside of Phoenix in the suburb of Goodyear — will generate more than 500 full-time jobs and an investment of at least $184 million. The Arizona Commerce Authority also shared the decision in a tweet.

Plans for the factory were put in doubt after Ducey moved to rescind up to $1 million in incentives offered to the Beaverton, Ore.-based company. He criticized Nike’s decision to recall shoes with a Revolutionary War-era flag called the Betsy Ross.

Nike pulled the shoes after activist and former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who endorses the company’s products, said the symbol was offensive to people of color. The flag has been taken up by some far-right groups.

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Work on the factory will start later this summer, with production expected to begin in early 2020, Nike said.


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