Under Armour-sponsored athletes oppose CEO's pro-Trump comments

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Professional ballet dancer Misty Copeland and wrestler turned-actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson joined National Basketball Association star Stephen Curry in opposing comments made by the chief executive of their sponsor Under Armour supporting U.S. President Donald Trump.

On Tuesday, Plank expressed support for Trump on CNBC, saying: “To have such a pro-business president is something that is a real asset for the country.”

On Thursday, Copeland wrote on her Instagram page (@mistyonpointe) that she strongly disagrees with Plank’s recent comments in support of Trump.

Johnson on Twitter (@TheRock) also posted that Plank’s words on CNBC were neither his words or his beliefs. But he added that his disagreement does not mean he will be abandoning Under Armour, with which he currently has a shoe line.

Copeland and Johnson join a number of athletes including Curry to speak out against Trump.

In an interview with The San Jose Mercury News on Wednesday, Curry, one of Under Armour’s most-visible athletes, said, “I agree with that description (of asset made by Plank), if you remove the ‘et’.”

A number of NBA players including Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, who is endorsed by Nike Inc, have recently expressed concerns over Trump’s policies. But Curry is the first player to directly oppose comments made by their sponsor.

Plank’s comments immediately drew backlash on social media with many using hashtags #boycottUnderArmour and #Grabyourwallet to promote a campaign against pro-Trump companies.

Under Armour has since released a statement saying Plank’s comments were in regard to Trump’s business policies, not his social viewpoints.

“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,” the company said. Under Armour is based in Baltimore.

Under Armour was not immediately available for comment on Thursday.

Curry, who has a multimillion-dollar contract that includes an equity stake in Under Armour that runs through 2024, said in the interview that Plank working with Trump is not a deal-breaker, but he is more concerned about Under Armour adopting Trump’s values.

Curry endorsed Hilary Clinton, Trump’s Democrat opponent, in the Nov. 8 election.

Shares of Under Armour closed up nearly 3 percent at $21.71 on Thursday.

Reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Alan Crosby and Chris Reese