UNDER ARMOUR CEO: It was ‘unfortunate’ that my words seen as praise of Trump were ‘divisive’

Kevin plank
Kevin Plank said he Getty/Brad Barket

In a new interview, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank explained the comments he made that ignited a firestorm earlier this year after they were widely seen as praising President Donald Trump.

“It was unfortunate that my words got characterised in a way that were meant to be divisive in some way, shape, or form,” Plank told Willie Geist on NBC’s Sunday Today Show.

Plank stopped short of apologizing for or rescinding the comments he made on CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime Report” in February, when he said: “To have such a pro-business president is something that is a real asset for the country.”

As Plank’s sentiment circulated earlier this year, it inspired a both a boycott of Under Armour and criticism from the company’s stable of athletes. In the new interview, Plank sought to explain why he said what he did.

“I am the eternal optimist. I believe in this country, and I believe in the opportunity that we have,” Plank said on Sunday. “I’ll always find the best of any situation that I’m ever given.”

Plank also lamented the political environment that brands and business leaders now find themselves in.

“In today’s day and age … you’re not allowed to give a basic answer where you can try and say, ‘I’m going to try to hit this one right down the middle, and everybody will be happy’,” Plank said. “The fact is that there’s no room for that. People want to know where you stand and what issues you stand for.”

Watch the interview below:

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