Under Armour’s CEO Kevin Plank has received widespread criticism for comments he made regarding President Donald Trump’s pro-business values, with some coming from the brand’s highest profile ambassadors. Today, the athletic brand released a statement denouncing some of Trump’s moves since taking office.
“We are against a travel ban and believe that immigration is a source of strength, diversity and innovation for global companies based in America like Under Armour,” the brand wrote in an email statement to Footwear News today.
Also in the statement, the athletic giant spoke to the business and social values important to Under Armour.
“Under Armour and Kevin Plank are for job creation and American manufacturing capability. We believe building should be focused on much-needed education, transportation, technology and urban infrastructure investment,” the statement read.
Earlier this week 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.
Since the comments were made, Under Armour ambassadors Stephen Curry, The Rock and Misty Copeland have made their distaste for Trump clear and publicly disagreed with Plank’s stance.
Copeland said in an Instagram post that what she has “never backed away from speaking openly about is the importance of diversity and inclusion,” and that “it is imperative to me that my partners and sponsors share this belief.”
The Rock echoed that sentiment, writing on Twitter that he plans to stick with “the American and global workers who are the beating heart and soul of Under Armour,” but that “[Plank’s] words were divisive and lacking in perspective.”
Immediately following the backlash from Plank’s CNBC appearance, Under Armour sent an email statement to FN on Wednesday stating it “has always been about optimism, teamwork and unity” and that it participates “in policy, not politics.”
Plank spoke with FN in November about how Trump’s campaign created a divide in the country and hoped there would be eventual unity.
“This is going to be our president, and we all have to embrace it,” Plank said at the time. “I hope it becomes a unifying moment for America. I know it feels like this has been a divisive campaign, and that’s really unfortunate and that’s the saddest thing about it. But I hope it proves to be unifying.”