Under Armour remained on the defensive Friday in the continued controversy over pro-President Trump remarks that its chief executive officer Kevin Plank made earlier in the week.
Following on the heels of backlash from some of its high-profile athletes including Steph Curry and Misty Copeland, the company issued yet another statement on Friday. The statement reiterated Plank’s belief in much-needed infrastructure and manufacturing investment but for the first time made clear its opposition to other Trump policies.
“These are not new or revised values. This is what we believe. 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. 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.”
Plank appeared on CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime Report” Tuesday during which he expressed support for President Trump’s pro-America stance, saying: “To have such a pro-business president is something that is a real asset for the country. People can really grab that opportunity.”
That prompted UA ambassador Steph Curry to tell the San Jose Mercury News on Wednesday: “I agree with that description if you remove the ‘et’ from asset.”
Copeland was the latest sponsored athlete to weigh in on the controversy, writing on her Instagram account of the “importance of diversity and inclusion” and said she has “spoken at length with Kevin privately about the matter.”
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who has a signature collection with Under Armour, also jumped into the fray, writing on his Instagram account Thursday that Plank’s comments “were divisive and lacking in perspective.”
Plank, a vocal champion of American job creation, is also part of the American Manufacturing Council, a group of high-profile business leaders who met with Trump in the White House in late January to brainstorm about how to bring jobs back to America. Plank is personally investing billions in a redevelopment plan in his hometown of Baltimore and has opened an innovation lab at Under Armour as a way to bring employment back to the U.S. “We believe it is important for Under Armour to be a part of that discussion,” the company said.