Under Armor CEO Takes Out Full-Page Ad to Retract His Praise of Trump as ‘Asset’

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CEO Kevin Plank backtracked after his pro-business Trump endorsement drew criticism.

Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank wrote an open letter to the city of Baltimore that appeared as a full-page ad in The Baltimore Sun as damage control after calling President Donald Trump an “asset” to the business community.

The recent ad/letter served as a bandage to repair the Baltimore-based company’s brand after reports of a possible boycott.

“In a business television interview last week, I answered a question with a choice of words that did not accurately reflect my intent,” the Wednesday, Feb. 14 letter read. “I want to clarify to our hometown exactly the values for which Under Armour and I stand.

“We stand firmly for equal rights. We believe that immigration is a source of strength, diversity and innovation for global companies based in America like Under Armour.” In the letter, he also promised that Under Armour would publicly oppose the travel ban and make a stand on legislation around the country “in support of the interests of our teammates whenever policy conflicts with human rights.”

The letter came after Plank said in an interview with CNBC’s “Halftime Report” Tuesday, Feb. 7 that “a pro-business president is something that’s a real asset to this country. People should grab that opportunity.”

Immediately, the statement rubbed high-profile endorsers like Golden State Warriors player Steph Curry, ballerina Misty Copeland and entertainer Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson the wrong way. They made it clear they did not share the same opinions as the CEO and distanced themselves in the following days.

“I agree with that description,” Golden State Warriors star and Under Armour endorser, Stephen Curry told The Mercury News on Wednesday, “if you remove the ‘et’ ” from asset. Get it? OK, good.” Copeland said that she “disagrees” with the statements.

Copeland said that she “disagrees” with the statements in a Thursday, Feb. Instagram post.

“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,” Copeland wrote. “However, I strongly disagree with Kevin Plank’s recent comments in support of Trump as recently reported.”

The Rock, on the other hand, distanced himself from the situation entirely in a tweet from Feb. 9.

“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.”

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