Under Armour puts Steph on the Hot Seat: Yes on Trump or No?

Several corporate heads are in the Donald Trump camp because he is going to make them even richer with the tax breaks he is going to toss their way. At least that is what they say publicly. Privately, they may even like and agree with Trump’s policies. But they have to walk a very thin line because of their customers and the climate of protest, boycott and social media shame.

The head of Uber had to resign from Trump’s Economic Advisory Board because of angry customers. Uber drivers didn’t honor the JFK protest after President Trump signed an executive order banning Muslims from seven countries from entering the United States. A petition was started #DeleteUber and customers began cancelling their accounts. Travis Kalanick, the head of Uber, was forced because of the growing public pressure to resign from the advisory board he had committed to. He tried to repair the damage by sending out an email to Uber customers basically begging them not to cancel. The email said Uber was against the ban of Muslims. But here is where it all gets shady. You can’t be against something prejudicial and then say you are for something monetary; it makes you sound like a money whore and it reminds your customers, who are not wealthy, of income inequality and moral relativism.

The head of Under Armour came up to bat next. It’s been a bad month for Under Armour. Their stock price did a 25% nose dive. They blamed it on stores closing before Xmas, that affected sales. Economic insiders say Steph Curry’s latest shoe hasn’t delivered to the level Under Armour needed it to, that it had appeal among the middle school crowd but not adult males. Furthermore, Kevin Durant in the Bay with his Nike brand has put a dent in the monopoly Under Armour had in Northern California. Nike is smiling all over again.

Perhaps his profit woes made the head of Under Armour, Kevin Plank, say Donald Trump is an asset to the country. He further explained he meant a business asset. When Steph was asked about it before the game on Wednesday night he said,  “I agree with that description if you remove the ‘et’ from asset.”

In other words, Steph thinks Donald Trump is an ass.

Kevin Plank had to explain to Curry that he just meant asset in the business realm, a cop-out to be sure. But Curry did his due diligence. According to the San Jose Mercury News, Steph spent a lot of time on the phone talking with a lot of people at Under Armour. Steph is under contract until 2024. It is important that a company he is aligned with stands for inclusiveness and fairness.

“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.”

So Steph isn’t throwing the baby out with the bathwater but he has had to face the question of what if? What if a sponsor he is aligned with has different political views than he has, and they make it public?

If there is a situation where I can look at myself in the mirror and say they don’t have my best intentions, they don’t have the right attitude about taking care of people. If I can say the leadership is not in line with my core values, then there is no amount of money, there is no platform I wouldn’t jump off if it wasn’t in my line with who I am.