Under Armour CEO, Kevin Plank, said something nice about Donald Trump. Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry wasn't exactly thrilled:
Once again, Stephen Curry has found himself in the middle of a political issue. Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, in an interview with CNBC, said President Donald Trump is an “asset” to the country.
“I agree with that description,” Curry said, “if you remove the ‘et’” from asset.
In an exclusive interview Wednesday, Curry did what he doesn’t like to do — talk politics — but is clearly getting comfortable doing.
His stance was much the same when his vague comments about the controversial North Carolina bill drew the ire of some in the LGBTQ community: where he stands is clear per his track record.
He thought he was sure where Plank stood based on his track record. So Curry, one of the most popular endorsers of Under Armour products, said he was surprised to see the CEO praising Trump.
“I spent all day yesterday on the phone,” Curry said, “with countless people at Under Armour, countless people in Kevin Plank’s camp, my team, trying to understand what was going on and where everybody stood on the issue. Based off the release that KP sent out this morning, and what he told me last night, that’s the Under Armour that I know. That’s the brand I know he’s built and one that, as of Wednesday afternoon, is something that I’m standing on.”
Plank explained his stance to Curry on Tuesday, how his comments were meant exclusively from a business perspective. He distanced himself from Trump’s controversial policies and comments that have enranged women, Muslims, Mexicans, African-Americans and the impoverished across the nation.
On Wednesday, Under Armour released a statement that explained Plank was part of a collaboration of private industry powers putting their brains together to effect change. Curry said that statement reflects what he believed to be true about Plank and Under Armour.
Curry, who has a contract with Under Armour that runs through 2024, said Plank working with Trump isn’t a deal-breaker for him.. He is more concerned about Under Armour adopting Trump’s values, he said.
“It’s a fine line but it’s about how we’re operating,” Curry said, “how inclusive we are, what we stand for. He’s the President. There are going to be people that are tied to them. But are we promoting change? Are we doing things that are going to look out for everybody? And not being so self-serving that it’s only about making money, selling shoes, doing this and that. That’s not the priority. It’s about changing lives. I think we can continue to do that.”
But would Curry really leave Under Armour, the company that helped launch his empire, if he didn’t like the direction of the company?
“If there is a situation where I can look at myself in the mirror and say they don’t have my best intentions, they don’t have the right attitude about taking care of people,” Curry said. “If I can say the leadership is not in line with my core values, then there is no amount of money, there is no platform I wouldn’t jump off if it wasn’t in line with who I am. So that’s a decision I will make every single day when I wake up. If something is not in line with what I’m about, then, yeah, I definitely need to take a stance in that respect.”
Curry said he and Plank don’t talk politics and he doesn’t have interest in doing so. His relationship with Under Armour is a business relationship and his primary concern is carrying out his own mission. However, he made it clear he did not vote for Trump and is against several of Trump’s actions.
“I feel like if you know who I am, you know what I stand for, and I can live with that,” Curry said. “I feel when you see my name, when you see people wearing my stuff, when you see anybody attached to me, that they share that same passion for people that I do. And that’s what I’ve been really serious about using this platform to share. I don’t get in people’s faces and out in the streets with a bullhorn doing it that way. But every opportunity I have to show love, to show respect, to show just that positivity, I feel like that’s my job and that’s what I stand for.”
This article originally appeared at the San Jose Mercury News.