NBA superstar Stephen Curry’s allegiance to Under Armour appeared to be in question after its CEO Kevin Plank praised President Donald Trump.
Plank told CNBC that having “a pro-business president is something that is a real asset for the country.”
In a recent interview with the San Jose Mercury News, Curry, who isn’t fond of talking about politics, responded to Plank’s comment: “I agree with that description, if you remove the e-t.”
The Warriors guard reportedly called UA executives on Tuesday to find out directly how they truly felt about the President and his recent controversial actions. Plank assured Curry, who according to Morgan Stanley is worth at least $14 billion to UA, that his remarks on CNBC were solely business related. He distanced himself from Trump’s divisive travel ban, and several of the President’s other troublesome initiatives. After the call, Curry was content.
“It’s a fine line but it’s about how we’re operating, how inclusive we are, what we stand for,” he told the Mercury News. “He’s the President. There are going to be people that are tied to them. But are we promoting change? Are we doing things that are going to look out for everybody? And not being so self-serving that it’s only about making money, selling shoes, doing this and that. That’s not the priority. It’s about changing lives. I think we can continue to do that.”
After some uproar on Twitter, where the hashtag #BoycottUnderArmour was launched, UA released a statement clarifying its CEO’s remarks.
“We engage in policy, not politics,” the statement reads. “We believe in advocating for fair trade, an inclusive immigration policy that welcomes the best and the brightest and those seeking opportunity in the great tradition of our country, and tax reform that drives hiring to help create new jobs globally, across America and in Baltimore.
We have teammates from different religions, races, nationalities, genders and sexual orientations; different ages, life experiences and opinions. This is the core of our company. At Under Armour, our diversity is our strength, and we will continue to advocate for policies that Protect Our House, our business, our team, and our community.”
Curry has been one of Under Armour’s greatest assets since signing to the athletic apparel brand in 2013. Two years ago, Curry reportedly arrived at an UA investor’s meeting with a signed contract in his back pocket. Although the exact figures of the contract have not been disclosed, Curry, who has helped lead his Golden State Warriors to back-to-back NBA Finals appearances, will remain with UA through 2024. Although Curry boasts three signature styles with UA, he says he wouldn’t hesitate to leave a brand if its “leadership is not line” with his core values.
“If there is a situation where I can look at myself in the mirror and say they don’t have my best intentions…then, there is no amount of money, there is no platform I wouldn’t jump off if I it wasn’t in line with who I am. If something is not in line with what I’m about, then, yeah, I definitely need to take a stance in that respect.” Last year, Curry appeared in a PSA titled “The Mentorship” for former President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative.