Under Armour representatives Steph Curry, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Misty Copeland publicly denounced Kevin Plank, a University of Maryland alumnus and the company’s CEO, after he voiced support for President Trump earlier this week.
On Tuesday, Plank told CNBC that having “such a pro-business president is something that is a real asset for the country.” A Jan. 27 statement on the White House’s website announced that Plank and other business leaders will be meeting with Trump to discuss his Manufacturing Jobs Initiative, which aims to “promote job growth and get Americans back to work again.”
The following day, Curry, Golden State Warriors point guard and the company’s most high-profile public face, directly responded to Plank in an interview with the San Jose Mercury News.
“I agree with that description, if you remove the ‘et’ from asset,” Curry said, adding that he spent countless hours on the phone with people from the company to “understand what was going on.”
“If there is a situation where I can look at myself in the mirror and say they don’t have my best intentions, they don’t have the right attitude about taking care of people,” Curry, who has a contract with Under Armour through 2024, told the Mercury News. “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.”
Johnson assured his fans in a tweet that his beliefs do not align with Plank’s, whose “words were divisive and lacking in perspective.”
“But in a time of widespread disagreement, so is loyalty,” Johnson wrote. “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.”
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) February 9, 2017
University spokesman Brian Ullmann said people have sent emails asking for this university to disavow association with Plank because of his positive remarks about Trump.
“We shouldn’t change how we feel about the company and our relations to them,” sophomore mechanical engineering major Tabriz Bumpas said. “But we should politically distance ourselves from him. Not the company, just him as a person.”
Sophomore mechanical engineering major Brandon Greulich said the company should consider changing its leadership after hearing Plank’s comments.
“There have been many instances in which public figures have made their political statements or personal beliefs known in relation to their platform, and it has hurt their careers,” Greulich said.
Under Armour signed a 10-year extension contract with this university in 2014 worth $33 million, and in November 2014, he donated $25 million to help fund renovations for the Cole Field House athletic and academic complex.
Under Armour released a statement Wednesday clarifying Plank’s remarks.
“We engage in policy, not politics,” the statement read. “At Under Armour, our diversity is our strength, and we will continue to advocate for policies that Protect Our House, our business, our team, and our community.”