Johnson is a former WWE World Heavyweight Champion, who has since gone on to a successful acting career.
During the 2016 election, right-wing propaganda sites reported that Johnson had endorsed Trump, who was desperate for high-profile African-American support to bolster his campaign.
But the stories were false.
Johnson, who has an Under Armour endorsement contract, made clear, once again, in an Instagram post that he supports “diversity, inclusion, community, open-mindedness and some serious hard work.”
Johnson also made clear that Plank’s sentiments “are neither my words, nor my beliefs.”
“His words were divisive and lacking in perspective, inadvertently creating a situation where the personal political opinions of UA’s partners and its employees were overshadowed by the comments of its CEO,” Johnson wrote in an Instagram post.
Plank touched off the furor after telling CNBC, “To have such a pro-business president is something that is a real asset for the country. People can really grab that opportunity.”
Many pro athletes who are endorsing the brand were offended because of Trump’s stance against Muslims and his lack of commitment to diversity.
NBA superstar Stephen Curry summed up the sentiment. He told The San Jose Mercury News the description would have been more accurate, “if you remove the ‘et’ from asset.”
Johnson also said Plank’s words did not represent rank and file workers at the company:
A good company is not solely defined by its CEO. A good company is not defined by the athlete or celebrity who partners with them. A good company is not a single person. A good company is a team, a group of brothers and sisters committed to working together each and every day to provide for their families and one another and the clients they serve.
“I partner with brands I trust and with people who share my same values. That means a commitment to diversity, inclusion, community, open-mindedness and some serious hard work,” he added.
“I feel an obligation to stand with this diverse team, the American and global workers, who are the beating heart and soul of Under Armour and the reason I chose to partner with them. My commitment is as real as my sweat and callouses that thicken daily. #CommittedToThePeople”
The company released the following statement following the blowup.
“We engage in policy, not politics. 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.
We have teammates from different religions, races, nationalities, genders and sexual orientations; different ages, life experiences and opinions. This is the core of our company. At Under Armour, our diversity is our strength, and we will continue to advocate for policies that Protect Our House, our business, our team, and our community.
Plank was recently invited by Trump to join the American Manufacturing Council, which advises the president. Top executives from Dow Chemical, Dell, Ford, GE and Tesla, among others are also on the council.
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