Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank voiced his support for President Donald Trump on Wednesday, but the athletes the company sponsors are making it known they don’t agree with him.
Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry was the first to denounce Plank’s statement that he considers Trump to be a “real asset” to Under Armour, getting a jab at the president in before telling the media Wednesday he personally talked to Plank. Curry said he plans to stay with Under Armour as long as the rest of the company continues to support his own values, regardless of what the CEO says.
Now, former WWE star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and the American Ballet Theater’s principal dancer Misty Copeland have come out with statement’s similar to Curry’s.
Copeland, who became ABT’s first black principal dancer in 2015, said on Instagram she also spoke to Plank and wants him and the rest of UA to “take public action to clearly communicate and reflect our common values in order for us to effectively continue to work towards our shared goal of trying to motivate all people to be their best selves.”
I have always appreciated the great support and platform that Under Armour has given me to represent my community, gender, and career on the world stage. However, I strongly disagree with Kevin Plank's recent comments in support of Trump as recently reported. 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. It is imperative to me that my partners and sponsors share this belief. I have spoken at length with Kevin privately about the matter, but as someone who takes my responsibility as a role model very seriously, it is important to me that he, and UA, take public action to clearly communicate and reflect our common values in order for us to effectively continue to work towards our shared goal of trying to motivate ALL people to be their best selves.
The Rock also posted his thoughts on Instagram and said he’s sticking with the company, too, but he’s doing it to support the people who made him choose to team with Under Armour in the first place.
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
So far, none of Under Armour’s sponsored athletes have cut ties with the company, but it sounds as though they’d consider it if the rest of the company strays from the values they share.