The top executive at Under Armour Inc. is a fan of Donald Trump. His top athletes aren’t. Let the fireworks begin.
Three of the clothing company’s biggest names spoke out against Chief Executive Officer Kevin Plank after he publicly praised the Republican president, declaring on CNBC that Trump is a “real asset for the country.” Plank is a member of the administration’s American Manufacturing Council.
“I agree with that description,” NBA superstar Stephen Curry, Under Armour’s most prized sneaker pitchman, told the Mercury News, “if you remove the et’” from asset. On Thursday, Misty Copeland, a star ballet dancer prominently featured in Under Armour advertising, came out against Plank’s statements in a post on Instagram. Copeland said she spoke at length with the CEO and hoped the company would take public action to promote inclusivity.
“I strongly disagree with Kevin Plank’s recent comments in support of Trump,” said Copeland. “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.”
Dwayne Johnson (The Rock to wrestling fans out there) had some strong words to share as well. The actor, who has an apparel line with Under Armour, said yesterday that the CEO’s comments trampled the beliefs of many of the company’s employees. Leaders are supposed to inspire people, not “divide and disband,” he said. “These are neither my words, nor my beliefs,” Johnson said of Plank’s statement. “His words were divisive and lacking in perspective.”
The White House declined to comment.