Under Armour is a global brand, and so is President Trump, it appears. On Friday, a German soccer team sponsored by the Baltimore-based athleticwear company released a statement attempting to distance itself from the latter by criticizing Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank’s recent laudatory comments about the new U.S. president.
“FC St. Pauli can only agree with Steph Curry, the NBA’s sharpest three-point shooter and equity holder of our kit supplier, in his assessment of the new U.S. president,” club chairman Oke Göttlich of the 2-Bundesliga’s 18th-place team said Friday, referencing recent comments made by the Golden State Warriors star and Under Armour shareholder. “There is no more to be said about this person.”
What Curry said about Trump was nothing short of scathing. In response to Plank praising Trump’s business acumen and calling the president “a real asset for the country” during an appearance Tuesday on CNBC’s “Halftime Report,” Curry said Wednesday that he agreed — “if you remove the ‘-et.’ ” in “asset.”
A handful of other Under Armour athletes have likewise attempted to distance themselves from Plank’s viewpoint of Trump, including ballerina Misty Copeland and actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who has a footwear line with the company.
Copeland said she “strongly disagreed” with Plank’s comments and demanded that Under Armour “take public action to clearly communicate and reflect our common values,” which she said should include diversity and inclusion, two nouns that have not often been associated with Trump’s agenda.
Johnson took a more measured stance, distancing himself from Plank while sticking up for the company, which he said “is not solely defined by its CEO.”
FC St. Pauli chief Göttlich, meanwhile, said Friday he hopes Plank will “reconsider his statement, precisely in view of the company’s many employees of migrant background, who bring many assets to his company.”
Göttlich added: “Because, dear kit supplier, the saying ‘Protect Our House’ also holds true for FC St. Pauli and its values.”
Plank’s optimistic opinion about the 45th president of the United States sparked controversy over the brand on social media, where #BoycottUnderArmour began trending on Twitter on Wednesday.
Under Armour attempted to diffuse the situation Wednesday by releasing a statement that read, “We engage in policy, not politics,” before talking about politics.
“Under Armour and Kevin Plank are for job creation and American manufacturing capability,” the statement continued. “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.”