Following Trump’s decidedly unpresidential response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend, people are voicing their displeasure—and loudly. Among those is Under Armour’s CEO Kevin Plank, who stepped down from Trump’s American Manufacturing Council this week. He announced his departure on Twitter:
I love our country & company. I am stepping down from the council to focus on inspiring & uniting through power of sport. – CEO Kevin Plank pic.twitter.com/8YvndJMjj1
— Under Armour (@UnderArmour) August 15, 2017
Plank rubbed a lot of people the wrong way when he praised Trump as “an asset to this country” back in February. Under Armour spokespeople—namely, Steph Curry and Misty Copeland—were some of the ones to voice their disagreement with those comments, and the president himself. Still, at the time, Plank praised Trump for being “bold” and “decisive,” conveniently glossing over the president’s utter lack of social acceptance.
Essentially, Plank praised Trump’s business approach, while, as a brand, Under Armour responded by clarifying its stance of “advocating for fair trade [and] an inclusive immigration policy.” It was a tricky balancing act from the start, with the brand trying to separate its social ideals from its business ones. But after the events in Charlottesville, it’s finally becoming more difficult for people to disentangle the two.
Plank is one of three executives to step down from the council so far. He was preceded by Merck & Co.’s chief executive Kenneth Frazier, and was followed by Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich. It’ll be interesting to see who else takes a stand—and what Trump has to say about it.