The Rock Has Become the Next Under Armour Athlete to Disown CEO Kevin Plank’s Pro-Trump Comments
It appears athlete-cum-actor Dwayne Johnson is holding fast to at least one of his old wresting monikers: “The People’s Champion.”
In a statement posted on his Facebook page Thursday Johnson—popularly known as “The Rock”—criticized the CEO of his sponsor Under Armour (UAA) for praising Trump.
“His words were divisive and lacking in perspective,” Johnson wrote. “Inadvertently creating a situation where the personal political opinions of Under Armor’s partners and its employees were overshadowed by the comments of its CEO.”
Johnson is not the first Under Armour athlete to distance himself from pro-Trump comments made by company CEO Kevin Plank. On Wednesday, NBA star Stephen Curry slammed Plank’s assertion that “such a pro-business president” was “a real asset for the country.”
“I agree with that description if you remove the ‘et’ from asset,” said Curry, who is under contact with Under Armour until 2024.
Ballerina Misty Copeland, who has appeared in Under Armour adverts, has also said that she “strongly disagreed” with Plank’s views, adding in a statement that she’d spoken with her CEO “at length” about the issue.
Baltimore-based Under Armour is the latest in a succession of U.S. brands being asked to essentially pick a side in an increasingly polarized political environment, writes Fortune’s John Kell. Nordstrom (JWN), Uber (UBER), Starbucks (SBUX), Kellogg (K), and others have all recently been mired in Trump-related controversy.
However, in their statements distancing themselves from Plank’s comments, athletes Johnson, Curry, and Copeland all also reaffirmed their commitment to the sports apparel brand.
“I feel an obligation to stand with this diverse team, the American and global workers, who are the beating heart and soul of Under Armour and the reason I chose to partner with them,” Johnson wrote.
Last year, various outlets reported that “The Rock” was considering making a bid for president in 2020. Some suggested he could win.