Arizona Governor Doug Ducey took Nike to task earlier in the week, threatening to yank financial incentives for the company after it decided to pull a sneaker with a Betsy Ross flag on the back.
But it apparently wasn’t enough for Ducey to put his own Nike sneakers in the closet.
As The Hill reported, Ducey was photographed wearing Nikes just days after publicly attacking the company and threatening to pull the plug on a project that had been planned for Arizona. Ducey was spotted wearing a pair of black and white Nike sneakers to a Fourth of July celebration. The photo was shared online by the Coconino County Democrats, which seemed to mock the governor by adding the hashtag #nikeboycott to a Twitter post sharing the photo.
Nike had come under fire by many conservatives after the company announced it was pulling the Betsy Ross flag sneakers. The shoes had a version of the American flag with 13 white stars, which was created by Betsy Ross during the American Revolution. Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick reportedly pushed back against the flag, which some see as an offensive symbol of a period of American slavery, Business Insider noted. The report added that the flag has since been adopted by white supremacist groups.
Kaepernick has become a key figure for criticism from the right since he started taking a knee during the national anthem before football games, a protest of police brutality against minorities. He came under widespread criticism, especially from Donald Trump, who in 2017 famously called on NFL owners to fire any players who took a knee.
Kaepernick has since drifted out of the NFL, and settled a lawsuit against the league claiming that owners colluded to keep him from getting another job. He has since become the face of a Nike campaign that highlighted athletes who take a stand for causes, and continues to be a target for the right.
Ducey is among the chief critics. Last week, the Arizona governor tweeted a threat to Nike that he was pulling the financial incentives for the company to build a location there.
“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,” he wrote on Twitter.
“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.
The pictures of Doug Ducey wearing Nike sneakers after making this threat has drawn some viral attention and led to criticism that the Arizona governor was just grandstanding when he made the threat.