Misty Copeland Disavows Under Armour CEO's Pro-Trump Comments

Copeland stressed her belief in "diversity and inclusion"

Ballerina and Under Armour spokeswoman Misty Copeland took to social media Thursday to disavow comments made by CEO Kevin Plank that were supportive of a Trump administration.

In an interview on CNBC’s "Fast Money Halftime Report" Tuesday, Plank said there’s a lot he respects about President Donald Trump’s work ethic.

"When you look at the president he wants to build things. He wants to build things, he wants to make bold decisions and be really decisive," Plank said. "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."

Copeland, the first African-American woman to be named principal dancer at American Ballet Theater, joined NBA star Steph Curry and wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson in opposing Plank's comments and stressed her belief in "diversity and inclusion."

“I have always appreciated the great support and platform that Under Armour has given me to represent my community, gender, and career on the world stage. However, I strongly disagree with Kevin Plank’s recent comments in support of Trump as recently reported,” Copeland penned in an Instagram post. “Those of you who have supported and followed my career know that the one topic I’ve never backed away from speaking openly about is the importance of diversity and inclusion."

Copeland, who was tapped by Under Armour to show off her athleticism while telling her story of triumph over adversity in the company's "I Will What I Want" campaign, said it "is imperative to me that my partners and sponsors share this belief." 

The ballet dancer said she has spoken to Plank privately about the subject, and called on him and Under Armour to publicly and "clearly communicate and reflect our common values in order for us to effectively continue to work towards our shared goal of trying to motivate ALL people to be their best selves.”

In his CNBC interview, Plank also described Trump as a "pro-business president" and that "is something that's a real asset to this country." 

Curry said Wednesday that he agreed with that description of Trump, "if you remove the 'et' from asset."

Under Armour released a statement Wednesday clarifying Plank's comments saying "we engage in policy, not politics," and asserted the company's belief in inclusion.

"We believe in advocating for fair trade, an inclusive immigration policy that welcomes the best and the brightest and those seeking opportunity in the great tradition of our country, and tax reform that drives hiring to help create new jobs globally, across America and in Baltimore."

Professional athletes and other celebrities have raised concerns about a number of Trump's statements and proposals, including his executive order to suspend refugee admissions and temporarily bar visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Under Armour didn't immediately comment on Copeland's statement.

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