Under Armour boss quits Trump’s council amid Charlottesville controversy

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Kevin Plank

The chief executive of global sportswear retailer Under Armour Kevin Plank has become the latest high-profile name to resign from one of US President Donald Trump’s councils.

Yesterday Plank announced his resignation from the American Manufacturing Council following widespread criticism of the president for his seeming reluctance to condemn white supremacist groups.

“I joined the American Manufacturing Council because I believe it was important for Under Armour to have an active seat at the table and represent our industry,” Plank said in a statement posted to Twitter.

“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 for 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.”

READ MORE: When should retailers get involved in politics?

The events follow violent clashes between far-right demonstrators and counter-protest groups. This resulted in a car being driven into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring several others.

Plank issued a statement on Twitter yesterday stating “We are saddened by #Charlottesville. There is no place for racism or discrimination in this world. We choose love & unity”.

However, Plank was accused of not going far enough to condemn Trump, who until yesterday had spoken out against violence “on both sides” and failed to denounce the far-right groups.

Amid the news that the chief executive of pharmaceutical giant Merck Kenneth Frazier had left the group following the events, Plank came under increasing pressure to follow suit.

Under Armour does not yet have a standalone store in the UK, but trades online and via department store concessions.

It is also rumoured to be opening a debut flagship in London soon.

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