Under Armour CEO, Intel CEO resign from Trump council after Charlottesville violence
Two more members of U.S. President Donald Trump’s manufacturing council have stepped down.
Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank and Intel CEO Bryan Krzanich have withdrawn from the American Manufacturing Council.
Plank said his company “engages in innovation and sports, not politics.”
In a blog posting on intel.com, Krzanich wrote, “I resigned to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues, including the serious need to address the decline of American manufacturing. Politics and political agendas have sidelined the important mission of rebuilding America’s manufacturing base.”
They are the second and third CEOs to step down Monday after Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier resigned following U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments stemming from the racist demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va. over the weekend.
Trump was widely criticized for not condemning the white nationalists involved in the Saturday attack that left one woman dead after a car was driven into counter-protesters on Saturday, until two days after the incident.
His initial comments condemned an “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” but didn’t single out the white nationalists widely seen as sparking the melee. He was also condemned for stating that “many sides” were involved.
On Monday he added: “Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”
Frazier, who quit before Trump’s comments Monday, said he left the council because he has “a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.”
Plank didn’t specifically site Trump’s reaction to the violence as a reason, but said he wanted to promote “unity, diversity and inclusion.”
“I am appreciative of the opportunity to have served, but have decided to step down from the council,” Plank said in a statement on Twitter.
“I love our country and our company and will continue to focus my efforts on inspiring every person that they can do anything through the power of sport which promotes unity, diversity and inclusion.”
Like Plank, Frazier did not refer to Trump’s remarks, but suggested that the political climate in Washington was making it impossible to rebuild the U.S. manufacturing base.
“It is clear even to me that nearly every issue is now politicized to the point where significant progress is impossible.”
Plank is already being praised for leaving Trump’s council, while others disagree with his stance.
“In order to invoke change we must make a shift. @UnderArmour is taking a stand !” NAACP tweeted in response.
“Just removed @UnderArmour from #GrabYourWallet site. Thank you to CEO Kevin Plank for taking a stand against divisiveness, racism, and hate,” Shannon Coulter wrote. Coulter’s #GrabYourWallet campaign encourages people to boycott companies who support Trump.
“As a shareholder, I’m profoundly disappointed,” Scott Reusterholz tweeted to Plank. “You give up a chance to help American workers and press the Pres on issues where you disagree.”
— With files from Reuters
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