Athletes Condemn Under Armour Exec’s Support For Trump

Athletes Condemn Under Armour Exec’s Support For Trump


Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank has come under fire recently for his support of President Trump. During an interview on CNBC, Plank said that Trump was a ‘real asset for the country’. and praised his economic policies, saying:

“I think he’s highly passionate. To have such a pro-business President is something that is a real asset for the country. People can really grab that opportunity. He wants to build things. He wants to make bold decisions and be really decisive. I’m a big fan of people that operate in the world of publish and iterate versus think, think, think, think, think. So there’s a lot that I respect there.”

Plank’s statement has since been met with a lot of criticism. Since giving the interview, multiple athletes have condemned the CEO’s statement, including Stephen Curry, who recently signed an endorsement contract with the company that ran through 2024. In response to Plank calling Trump an ‘asset’, Curry told reporters for the Mercury News: “I agree with that description if you remove the ‘et’”.
Plank later tried to distance himself from the controversy, claiming he was only expressing support for the President’s business sense and not his  immigration policy. Unfortunately for Under Armour (UA), the backpedaling hasn’t fixed their reputation. On Thursday, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson posted a statement on Facebook lambasting Plank for taking a pro-Trump position:

“I appreciate and welcome the feedback from people who disagree (and agree) with Kevin Plank’s words on CNBC, but these are neither my words, nor my beliefs. His words were divisive and lacking in perspective. Inadvertently creating a situation where the personal political opinions of Under Armour’s partners and its employees were overshadowed by the comments of its CEO…I partner with brands I trust and with people who share my same values. That means a commitment to diversity, inclusion, community, open-mindedness and some serious hard work.  But it doesn’t mean that I or my team will always agree with the opinion of everyone who works there, including its executives.”

UA athlete and world-class ballet dancer Misty Copeland also spoke out against Plank’s position. She wrote on Instagram:

“I strongly disagree with Kevin Plank’s recent comments in support of Trump. The one topic I’ve never backed away from speaking openly about is the importance of diversity and inclusion. It is imperative to me that my partners and sponsors share this belief. As someone who takes my responsibility as a role model very seriously, it is important to me that he, and UA, take public action to clearly communicate and reflect our common values in order for us to effectively continue to work towards our shared goal of trying to motivate ALL people to be their best selves.”

The hashtag #boycottUnderArmour is now trending, though it hasn’t yet had any discernible effect on the company’s stock value.

[Photo via Flickr user RobertStinnett]