- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank took out a full-page ad in The Baltimore Sun Wednesday to clarify his stance on immigration after his recent praise of President Trump drew backlash.

“In a business television interview last week, I answered a question with a choice of words that did not accurately reflect my intent,” Mr. Plank wrote in the ad addressed to his company’s hometown of Baltimore. “I want to clarify to our hometown exactly the values for which Under Armour and I stand.”

The 44-year-old CEO said he personally believes immigration is “the foundation of our country’s exceptionalism” and diversity is the source of his company’s strength.

“While stating our values is important, I also know that actions speak louder than words,” he wrote. “So here is what we are doing: We are publicly opposing the travel ban. With an anticipated new executive order on immigration set to come out, we will join a coalition of companies in opposition to any new actions that negatively impact our team, their families or our community.”

Mr. Plank’s letter comes after he called President Trump a “real asset” to the country and good for business during a CNBC interview last week, sparking condemnation from several high profile celebrities.

“He wants to build things,” Mr. Plank said of the president on Feb. 7. “He wants to make bold decisions and be really decisive. I’m a big fan of people that operate in the world of publish and iterate versus think, think, think, think, think. So there’s a lot that I respect there.”

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and professional ballerina Misty Copeland — all Under Armour sponsors — have spoken out against Mr. Plank’s comments.

Mr. Plank, who met with Mr. Trump and other business leaders last month at the White House, said in his letter Wednesday that that his company will engage with government while still protecting its core values.

“While we will continue to engage with government to protect our teammates, our company and our city, I can promise you that we will never compromise these values,” he wrote. “We will continue to stand for equality, diversity and opportunity for all. In a time of division, we aspire to be a force of unity, growth and optimism for our city and our country. I hope we will always make Baltimore proud.”

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