Apparel and shoe giant Under Armour is one of three companies that have pulled out of a presidential business council after President Donald Trump failed to issue a stronger response to the violent protests in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend that left one dead and dozens more injured.
CEO Kevin Plank issued a statement Monday saying: “I love our country and our company and will continue to focus my efforts on inspiring every person that they can do anything through the power of sport which promotes unity, diversity and inclusion.”
His announcement followed a similar move from Kenneth C. Frazier, chief executive of the pharmaceutical company Merck. Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel, also withdrew from the council late Monday night.
Plank has received criticism in the past for ties to the Trump administration following a television appearance in February where he categorized Trump as “a real asset for this country.” His comment came at the time when many were protesting Trump’s controversial travel ban. Several high-profile Under Armour athletes—most notably NBA star Stephen Curry— criticized Plank’s comments.
More than a week later Plank walked-back his remarks in a full-page ad taken out in the Baltimore Sun, explaining that his comments “did not accurately reflect my intent,” while publicly denouncing the travel ban.
Plank’s move Monday comes two weeks after the company announced $1.1 billion in revenue in the second quarter, adding that they planned to cut 2 percent of its workforce—280 jobs globally.
Here is the full statement from Plank:
“I joined the American Manufacturing Council because I believed it was important for Under Armour to have an active seat at the table and represent our industry. We remain resolute in our potential and ability to improve American manufacturing. However, Under Armour engages in innovation and sports, not politics.
I am appreciative of the opportunity to have served, but have decided to step down from the council. I love our country and our company and will continue to focus my efforts on inspiring every person that they can do anything through the power of sport which promotes unity, diversity and inclusion.”
Trump responded Tuesday morning, slamming the three CEOs via Twitter and writing: “For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should note have gone on. JOBS!”