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Nike keeps plans for Arizona factory despite controversy

PHOENIX (AP) — Nike is going forward with plans to make soles for Nike Air shoes in a Phoenix suburb.

The shoemaker confirmed its plans Thursday even though Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey last week blocked state money for the facility when Nike pulled a flag-themed shoe from the market. The move came after former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick raised concerns.

Ducey rescinded a grant of up to $1 million meant to encourage Nike to build the $184 million plant with at least 500 jobs. But Nike will still get more than $2 million in tax breaks from the city of Goodyear.

Nike’s Air Max 1 USA shoe included a Revolutionary-era emblem known as the Betsy Ross flag. Kaepernick told the company the flag recalls an era when black people were enslaved.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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