Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank is defending his company’s hometown after President Donald Trump attacked Democrat Elijah Cummings, whose congressional district includes Baltimore, and criticized the city.
He didn’t mention Trump by name, but the intention was clear with his caption: “On behalf of the thousands of UA Teammates who proudly call Baltimore HOME… Work to be done but we are of this city and for this city,” Plank wrote.
The one-minute commercial, originally released last year, points to an Under Armour website for We Will. Under Armour launched that marketing campaign in 2017 to become more engaged with Baltimore.
Trump ignited controversy on Saturday when he called the city “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” and attacked Cummings, who represents Maryland’s 7th Congressional District. The tweets have sparked a reaction from city officials and politicians to defend the city and condemn Trump.
Plank has previously disagreed with Trump in public. He stepped down from Trump’s American Manufacturing Council in 2017 after the president didn’t directly criticize neo-Nazis, the KKK and other white supremacists at a Charlottesville, Virginia rally. “I think there is blame on both sides,” Trump previously said and equated the white supremacists on one side with the “alt-left” on the other side.
“There is no place for racism or discrimination in this world. We choose love & unity,” Plank wrote in a tweet.
Top Under Armour endorser and NBA star Stephen Curry also defended Baltimore over the weekend.
“I’m not from Baltimore – but I know countless people who are. Teammates, family, hardworking employees. All People that represent the best qualities of what it means to be American! & who want to live there!” Curry said on Twitter.
Curry applauded CNN correspondent Victor Blackwell, who responded to Trump’s attacks on Baltimore and called out his repeated use of the word “infested” when targeting minority lawmakers.
“It’s this kind of boldness that our country needs! Keep calling him out,” Curry said.