The Rock does not like what Under Armour's CEO is cooking.
Earlier this week, Under Armour’s CEO Kevin Plank ruffled a few feathers when he called President Donald Trump “a real asset for the country.” This contrasts top competitors Nike and Adidas, who both release statements against the recent actions of Trump. Despite releasing a clarifying statement soon after the news broke, Under Armour athletes have been speaking out against their sponsoring brand. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Misty Copeland are the latest to make their voices heard.
Dwayne Johnson joined the Under Armour team back in 2015 as a hybrid entertainer/fitness guru, and Misty Copeland signed on in 2014 as one of the most accomplished ballet dancers in the world. Both were careful to denounce Trump without being too negative about the company that signs their checks. Johnson said Plank’s “words were divisive and lacking in perspective,” while Copeland said she strongly disagrees with Plank’s comments and has “spoken at length with Kevin privately about the matter.
Plank’s comments came in the context of his company weak sales and poor financial performance, so it’ll be interesting to see how this impacts that trajectory. Their biggest seller of shoes calling Trump an ass probably won’t help things.
Read both athletes’ full statements below.
Statement from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson:
"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[sic] that thicken daily. #CommittedToThePeople"
Statement from Misty Copeland
"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."