Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank during CES 2016, the annual Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 6, 2015
CNBC NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Plank had previously said Trump's business background was a good "asset" for the country

By Jennifer Calfas
Updated: June 27, 2017 10:12 AM ET | Originally published: June 25, 2017

Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank defended his comments that were seen as praising President Donald Trump from earlier this year, saying they weren’t meant to be “divisive.”

“It was unfortunate that my words got characterized in a way that were meant to be divisive in some way, shape or form,” Plank said in an interview that aired on NBC’s Sunday Today.

In February, during an interview with CNBC, Plank appeared to praise the President’s business background. “To have such a pro-business President is something that is a real asset for the country,” he said.

Plank faced criticism for his comments, perhaps most notably from NBA star Stephen Curry, who endorses Plank’s company.

“I agree with that description,” Curry, a vocal Trump opponent, told the San Jose Mercury News in February. “If you remove the ‘et.”

But Plank did not apologize for his comments, citing his optimistic attitude. “I will always find the best of any situation that I’m ever given,” he said in the interview that aired Sunday.

“In today’s day and age, there’ is no room for politics,” Plank added. “You’re not allowed to give a basic answer where you can try and say, ‘I’m going to try to hit this one right down the middle, and everyone will be happy.’ The fact is that there’s no room for that. People want to know where you stand and what issues you stand for.”

Before his comments made headlines, Plank visited the White House in January with a number of other business leaders including Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk. Musk, who faced backlash for his work with the Trump Administration, recently quit Trump’s advisory council after he pulled the U.S. from the Paris climate accord.

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