Kevin Plank , Founder, Chairman and CEO of Under Armour pens an open letter.
In the letter, Plank addressed the city of Baltimore, where Under Armour is headquartered.
After a relentless attack from the left, including the brands top sponsored athletes, Plank opposes the Trump administration’s travel ban.
Where do you stand on Under Armour’s decision to oppose the travel ban to protect Americans?
AN OPEN LETTER FROM Kevin Plank , Founder, Chairman and CEO of Under Armour
Baltimore, In a business television interview last week, I answered a question with a choice of words that did not accurately reflect my intent. I want to clarify to our hometown exactly the values for which Under Armour and I stand. Under Armour stands for opportunity. I believe one of the greatest American attributes is entrepreneurship, and I am incredibly proud of how the Under Armour story reflects this. I moved Under Armour toBaltimore in 1998 when it was a two-year-old company with two employees. Today we have 14,000 teammates across the world, and are proud to callBaltimore our home. In our city, we stand for entrepreneurship, job creation and opportunity. We also represent our teammates and our city through our Values:
- We stand firmly for equal rights. Through our investment, hiring, and in everything we do, we expect to be leaders in the advancement of all forms of diversity and gender equality.
- We believe that immigration is a source of strength, diversity and innovation for global companies based in America like Under Armour. And I personally believe that immigration is the foundation of our country’s exceptionalism.
- Once again, Under Armour stands for job creation. To that end, we believe in growing American manufacturing capability. We think building should focus on much-needed education, transportation, technology and infrastructure investment in cities like Baltimore.
At Under Armour, our culture is strong, and that culture is built by our people and by the values of how we operate our business. While stating our values is important, I also know that actions speak louder than words. 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.
- We are taking other public positions on legislation around the country in support of the interests of our teammates whenever policy conflicts with human rights.
Our team, like our country, is diverse by race, religion, nationality, gender, age, sexual orientation and point of view. In our city and at Under Armour, our diversity is our strength.
In addition to what we are doing today, I believe that our values are also clearly demonstrated by what we have already done. First, we have made an extraordinary commitment to Baltimore, both by doubling down on our company’s presence and our investment in this city, and by making unprecedented commitments to education, workforce development and local hiring. This past November in East Baltimore, in partnership with the Ravens and Living Classrooms, we opened the UA House at Fayette, a new 30,000 square foot multi-purpose community center for kids and families to learn, play, and grow. The UA House provides opportunities not only for sport but access to entrepreneurship programs, community event spaces and a state-of-the-art recording studio. We have also created a Manufacturing Bootcamp at The Foundery in Port Covington, where City residents with barriers to workforce entry are being trained in the skills they will need to build a good life. Every participant in our small pilot class has been hired, and the second class is now working toward the same goal, with more classes to follow. And in 2016 we opened the UA Lighthouse, an advanced manufacturing research facility that is a step toward bringing more good jobs to America and making more of our products right here in Baltimore. These are just some of the initiatives we have undertaken on behalf of our community and those who call Baltimore home, and we are just getting started. Our Brand mission is to make all athletes better through passion, design and the relentless pursuit of innovation. Our passion also extends to our teammates, our consumers and our community. We are always mindful of the responsibility that we have to those who choose our Brand, especially the young people who represent the bold and bright future of a diverse and inclusive America. 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. 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. Respectfully, Kevin PlankFounder, Chairman and CEO of Under Armour