UA CEO Kevin Plank Clarifies Words in Open Letter to Baltimore

After a number of Under Armour athletes including Stephen Curry, Misty Copeland, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson discussed their worries at Kevin Plank calling President Trump “an asset,” the CEO clarified his words in an open letter to Baltimore.

Printed as a full-page ad in the Baltimore Sun yesterday, Plank disseminated a message of unity — something Dwayne Johnson reproached in his statement when he called the CEO “divisive.”

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

He continued, “Under Armour stands for opportunity. I believe one of the greatest American attributes is entrepreneurship, and I am incredibly proud of how the Under Armour story reflects this.”

“We stand firmly for equal rights,” Plank stressed with his support of his teammates by outlining the company’s values. “We believe that immigration is a source of strength, diversity and innovation for global companies based in America like Under Armour.” He further explained that he believed that immigration was the “foundation of our country’s exceptionalism.” He added that one of UA’s values is job creation and helping cities like Baltimore flourish.

kevin plank open letter baltimore

In the letter Plank also took a political stand against some of President Trump’s policies. “We are publicly opposed the travel ban. With an anticipated new executive order on immigration set to come out, we will join a coalition of companies in opposition to any new actions that negatively impact out team, their families or our community.” Under Armour will join more forward-thinking companies and take public positions on legislation and policy that conflict with human rights.

Also featured in his address to Baltimore were some of the initiatives Under Armour has already taken to better the local Baltimore community; the UA House at Fayette, a 30,000 square-foot community center, has offered local residents access to entrepreneurship programs, while a Manufacturing Bootcamp and The Foundery in Port Covington has allowed City residents with barriers to workforce entry the opportunity to be trained in the skills needed to “build a good life.”

Plank ended the letter by solidifying the company’s position with a promise of unity. “We will continue to stand for equality, diversity and opportunity for all. In a time of division, we aspire to be a force of unity, growth and optimism for our city and our country. I hope we will always make Baltimore proud.”

You can read the full letter below or download it here. Thoughts on Kevin Plank’s letter? Let’s discuss respectfully below.

Kevin Plank open letter to baltimore trump.compressed

 

Source: Under Armour

 

 

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11 Comments

    1. A friend of mine pointed out that he should’ve known better than to say anything with famous Trump supporters getting absolutely hammered in the media (Steve Harvey, Matthew McConaughey, etc.).

      1. Yep but like most people put in certain positions, no one ever believes that it’ll happen to them. LOL! I forgot the term for it but it’s a mindset. Despite all of the proof of negative results, there are always people who won’t believe that it’ll be like that for them.

        I always joke and say that I didn’t have to have a kid super early to know what could happen because I saw people close to me in that situation. That was enough. I don’t need to learn everything personally. I can observe and that’s good enough.

  1. You are very right. You would think people could watch someone crash and burn and realize the things you need to do in order for that not to happen to them.

    I just feel like he never should’ve said anything. Now, he has made his company take a stand that may or may not reflect the views of his employees or people that purchase his products.

    Lastly, this might be a little hard to explain, but I feel like him rolling it back, or stepping it back again was not a good look. Some people might’ve just read the “he is an asset” part that so many places put out there and never really looked up what the full statement was, then they got all upset. Then, he goes on to clarify what he meant, which I was ok with……..then he goes again and pulls out the big page and writes what he really meant. Part of me just wants to ask, do you really know what you are trying to say? To me, it made him look kinda weak. I get in this modern day so many things are misconstrued or misinterpreted, so it would’ve been better not to say anything, then it gets blown up and here are lol.

    1. A lot of outlets reported this story, of Plank praising Trump, in really unfair and non-journalistic ways. I think we have covered it fairly. Many went for the catchy headline but I was actually interested in where Plank was coming from. I’m glad he clarified, but I agree — he should have never stepped in it. Just think about how differently this letter would be received if that was all we heard.

  2. I appreciate the re-confirmation of good intentions, I hope he means it, because it wasn’t a misunderstanding, he changed his stance, he didn’t clarify it.

  3. I find it interesting that the backlash for supporting Trump is so great that this guy has to release a couple statements for fear of a sales dip. Now, I’m not a Trump fan at all, but people should assume that most CEOs and head of companies should be pleased that he is president because, well, they’re rich and they’ll get a personal tax cut, and they’ll like whatever policies he might put in place that would be good for the bottom line of big businesses(which may not work out if you’re the head of a sneaker company, if he does put a significant tax on imports).

    He did clarify that he is against the travel ban, so thats something that may calm would-be boycotters, but the guy just said Trump may help his business. He’s allowed to be pleased about that.

    1. Not really though, UA really emphasized they were ‘of the people’ it’s even their advert-motto(to not be like Nike, to be good, not commercial, to not be selling-out), and in Plank’s letter, all but 1 of the issues got worse with Trump in office, and like you mentioned the only thing that got better is Tax-breaks.

      There’s no way that equated to Trump as an assett(unless Plank doesn’t actually care about all the other things than profit/tax-breaks). Plank should’ve been more aware, and outspoken on that, because without sales, UA is done, and Plank is done, with Tax-breaks Plank will get richer, faster, but no sales, would end it all, it’s a very worrying development that CEO’s like Plank(people who are supposedly educated, and aware) aren’t anticipating those fundamental economic-values.

      Adidas got it, and spoke up dismissing Trump’s more controversial decisions(like the travel ban), Nike intentionally didn’t mention it to avoid controversy, but Plank sabotaged himself, by saying something in conflict with UA’s motto.

  4. If Trump can convince this guy to bring Micro G back, then maybe he’s not that bad after all.

    Nah…

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