Under Armour CEO apologizes again for pro-Trump comments

This weekend Plank appeared on NBC’s Sunday Today Show in an attempt to mitigate the damage his comments caused, having shown support for Trump in February. Plank told the host during the Sunday broadcast, “It was unfortunate that my words got characterized in a way that were meant to be divisive in some way, shape, or form.”Plank went on to essentially apologize, saying that in today’s political climate, a company has to take a firm stance. No longer can messaging be middle-of-the-road in order to “make everyone happy. People want to know where you stand and what issues you stand for,” he observed.

Plank tried to further smooth things over. He called himself an eternal optimist and said that the comments he made about Trump came because he finds the best in any situation.In February, Plank went on the record on CNBC’s Fast Money Halftime Report to say that he felt Trump was an “asset to our country”. Plank had been in Washington D.C. with other CEOs of American companies to gather and discuss manufacturing and business under the new administration.Plank’s comments proved damaging to Under Armour’s already struggling business: signed athletes including Misty Copeland and The Rock distanced themselves from the brand on social media for it’s CEO’s pro-Trump statements, and customers boycotted the brand because they felt it was not aligned with their beliefs.At the time Plank made the comments in February, Under Armour was already losing pace. In January, its stock fell over 20% in a single day when Under Armour reported weak earnings that largely missed their sales forecast. Plank admitted the company had missed athleisure on the whole, thinking it was just a trend, and the brand’s sales suffered compared to competitors. The same competitors drummed up brand campaigns upon the messages of equality, love and diversity – inviting ever more stark comparisons with Under Armour. 

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