The backlash over supportive comments made recently by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank on US President Donald Trump continued Thursday when two of the company's most recognizable endorsers voiced their discontent with their employer's stance.
Actor and former full-time professional wrestler Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson took to Instagram to point out the ramifications of Plank standing by Trump, who has angered millions around the world for his misogynistic, racist and xenophobic tendencies.
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 UA’s partners and its employees were overshadowed by the comments of its CEO. A good company is not solely defined by its CEO. A good company is not defined by the athlete or celebrity who partners with them. A good company is not a single person. A good company is a team, a group of brothers and sisters committed to working together each and every day to provide for their families and one another and the clients they serve. We don’t partner with a brand casually. 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. Great leaders inspire and galvanize the masses during turbulent times, they don't cause people to divide and disband. My responsibility here is not only to the global audience we serve, but also to the thousands of workers who pour blood, sweat, and tears into making Under Armour strong. A diverse group of hardworking men and women who possess integrity, respect and compassion for one another and the world they live in. Debate is healthy. But in a time of widespread disagreement, so is loyalty. I feel an obligation to stand with this diverse team, the American and global workers, who are the beating heart and soul of Under Armour and the reason I chose to partner with them. My commitment is as real as my sweat and callouses that thicken daily. #CommittedToThePeople
Ballerina Misty Copeland joined the chorus of critics who called out Plank.
In a televised interview earlier this week, Plank said he considers Trump "a real asset to the country." The billionaire entrepreneur has said his comments were purely business in nature.
Two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry, Under Armour's biggest and most important company pitchman, was the first athlete in the company's stable of big-name endorsers to express his displeasure over Plank's statement.
Curry responded by saying he agrees with Plank's description of Trump if the letters "e" and "t" were removed.
In a story posted on the Mercury News website, Curry said he and Plank have already spoken and hinted that the air has been cleared.
When Curry was asked if he sees himself leaving Under Armour if the two sides' values clash again in the future, the Golden State Warriors guard said it's not impossible.
"If I can say the leadership is not in line with my core values, then there is no amount of money, there is no platform I wouldn’t jump off if it wasn’t in line with who I am," Curry said.
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