Under Armour CEO Clarifies Pro-Trump Statement
Kevin Plank eats his words, defends company values.
Facing a barrage of criticism, unhappy celebrity brand ambassadors and calls for a brand boycott on social media, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank took out a full-page ad in The Baltimore Sun on Wednesday to clarify his company’s values and his poorly worded pro-Trump comments.
The move comes on the heels of a controversial statement Plank made last week during a televised interview with CNBC, in which he referred to President Trump as an "asset" to the country.
In the full-page ad, addressed to the city of Baltimore where the sports apparel brand is headquartered, Plank acknowledged that, “In a business television interview last week, I answered a question with a choice of words that did not accurately reflect my intent. I want to clarify to our hometown exactly the values for which Under Armour and I stand.”
Plank went on to explain that, in Baltimore, the company stands for “entrepreneurship, job creation and opportunity,” and affirming the brand’s commitment to American manufacturing and its opposition to the travel ban set in motion by President Trump.
The letter also stated that the company believes “immigration is a source of strength, diversity and innovation for global companies based in America like Under Armour,” adding, “I personally believe that immigration is the foundation for our country’s exceptionalism."
The letter comes in the wake of mounting pressure from celebrity athlete endorsers, including Stephen Curry, Misty Copeland and Dwayne Johnson, who spoke out publicly in opposition of Plank’s pro-Trump comments.