Following Stephen Curry’s public disapproval of Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank’s comments on President Donald Trump, two more of the brand’s ambassadors are speaking out: ballerina Misty Copeland and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Earlier this week during an appearance on CNBC, Plank said of Trump: “To have such a pro-business president is something that is a real asset for the country.” This set off a firestorm on social media, with many making a call to boycott Under Armour’s products.
When Curry was asked about the comments on Trump, he told Mercury News, “I agree with that description if you remove the ‘et'” from asset.”
Copeland spoke out in a post via Instagram. She explained that she has appreciated the platform Under Armour has provided for her “to represent my community, gender and career on the world stage.”
She continued: “I strongly disagree with Kevin Plank’s recent comments in support of Trump as recently reported. Those of you who have supported and followed my career know that 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.”
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I have always appreciated the great support and platform that Under Armour has given me to represent my community, gender, and career on the world stage. However, I strongly disagree with Kevin Plank's recent comments in support of Trump as recently reported. Those of you who have supported and followed my career know that 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. I have spoken at length with Kevin privately about the matter, but 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.
Copeland said she spoke with Plank privately about his comments, but believes Plank and Under Armour need to “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.”
Curry said he also spoke to Plank about the comments and afterward felt reassured. “Based off the release that KP sent out this morning and what he told me last night, that’s the Under Armour that I know. That’s the brand I know he’s built and one that, as of Wednesday afternoon, is something that I’m standing on,” Curry said.
Today, The Rock also shared his thoughts in a Twitter post. He said that while he disagrees with Plank, he intends to stand with “the American and global workers who are the beating heart and soul of Under Armour and the reason I chose to partner with them.”
Still, The Rock had some harsh words for Plank. “[Plank’s] words were divisive and lacking in perspective, inadvertently creating a situation where the personal and political opinions of Under Armour’s partners and its employees were overshadowed by the comments of its CEO.”
The former wrestler and actor said that he partners with brands that share his same values, but acknowledges that he will not “always agree with the opinion of everyone who works there, including its executives. Great leaders inspire and galvanize the masses during turbulent times, they don’t cause people to divide and disband.”
Following Plank’s comments, Under Armour said in a statement to Footwear News on Wednesday that its culture “has always been about optimism, teamwork and unity” and that it participates “in policy, not politics.”