Under Armour chairman and CEO Kevin Plank made a major move tonight when he said he would step down from President Donald Trump’s American Manufacturing Council.
His announcement came just hours after Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier said he was stepping away from the group following Trump’s response to the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Va. over the weekend.
Plank made his own statement late Monday:
“I joined the American Manufacturing Council because I believed it was important for Under Armour to have an active seat at the table and represent our industry,” Plank wrote. “We remain resolute in our potential and ability to improve American manufacturing. However, Under Armour engages in innovation and sports, not politics.“
The exec continued, “I am appreciative of the opportunity to have served, but have decided to step down from the council. I love our country and our company and will continue to focus my efforts on inspiring every person that they can do anything through the power of sport which promotes unity, diversity and inclusion.”
Plank generated headlines earlier this year when he described Trump as “highly passionate” and a pro-business man who is a “real asset” for U.S. companies during an interview with CNBC.
Shortly after that interview, in an open letter published in The Baltimore Sun, Plank said his statements did not accurately reflect his intent. “I want to clarify to our hometown exactly the values for which Under Armour and I stand,” Plank wrote.
Under Armour’s chief went on to say that his company is a supporter of equal rights, immigration and job creation in the U.S.
“We believe that immigration is a source of strength, diversity and innovation for global companies based in America like Under Armour,” Plank said, noting that the company will publicly oppose any new executive order against immigration. “And I personally believe that immigration is the foundation of our country’s exceptionalism.”