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Under Armour CEO Caves to Backlash After Praising Trump — And the Way He’s Doing It Is Making Headlines

Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank made some serious waves recently for comments that were perceived as “pro-Trump.”

The statement, made during an interview for CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime Report,” addressed the business climate that accompanied the new president’s approach to policies that affect business:

“To have such a pro-business President is something that is a real asset for the country,” Plank said. “People can really grab that opportunity. He loves to build, I don’t think there’s any surprises here. When you look at the president, he wants to build things. He wants to build things, he wants to make bold decisions and be really decisive. I’m a big fan of people that operate in the world of publish and iterate versus think, think, think, think, think. So there’s a lot that I respect there.”

Plank was quickly criticized, not only by the general public, but by several famous purveyors of his own brand — namely Steph Curry, Misty Copeland, and Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson.

In the face of all the backlash, Plank has opted to respond — via a full page ad in his hometown Baltimore Sun.

Business Insider reported:

Plank published a full page ad in hometown newspaper The Baltimore Sun clarifying his previous remarks. The open letter never mentions President Trump by name, instead stating Under Armour’s values in diversity, equal rights, job creation, and opposing Trump’s executive order travel ban.

“I personally believe that immigration is the foundation of our country’s exceptionalism,” Plank wrote.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Plank acknowledged his responsibility to make sure that his brand accurately reflected his values:

“We are always mindful of the responsibility that we have to those who choose our brand, especially the young people who represent the bold and bright future of a diverse and inclusive America…In a time of division, we aspire to be a force of unity, growth and optimism for our city and our country.”

And promised that, in the future, Under Armour would not shy away from bold statements: “we will take public positions on legislation around the country to support its workforce whenever policy conflicts with human rights.”