It has been a tumultuous week for Baltimore-based brand Under Armour. Amid its plummeting stock price, CEO Kevin Plank praised President Trump, causing Stephen Curry to go public about what he thought about Plank’s words. Now, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Misty Copeland have weighed in as well.
In a statement released on Twitter, Dwayne Johnson offered a message of unity and stood by Under Armour. He made clear that everyone at the brand must not agree for it to be a good company — and that Kevin Plank’s feelings were not his own.
“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 Under Armour’s partners and it’s employees were overshadowed by the comments of its CEO.”
In his statement, Johnson explained that a good company is defined by more than just its CEO; it is comprised of a diverse group of men and women that form a hardworking team. He ended his message by reminding people of his commitment with the #CommitedToThePeople.
Misty Copeland strongly disagreed with Plank’s comments on Trump, citing that she had never backed away from speaking about the importance of inclusion and diversity. She said that she spoke with Kevin Plank at length about his comments, and took the responsibility of being 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.”
Thoughts these athletes’ statements? I thought Johnson’s message was the most beautiful of the lot, and there are sure to be more athletes who will voice their opinions on the matter.
Misty Copeland statement:
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.
Dwayne Johnson’s statement:
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 Under Armour’s partners and it’s 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 choose to partner with them.
My commitment is as real as my sweat and callouses that thicken daily. #CommitedToThePeople