Some sneaker wearers are running away from New Balanceafter it publicly backed President-elect Donald Trump.
The Boston-based company has criticized the Obama administrationin the past because of theTrans-Pacific Partnership and Trump has already announced he would withdrawal from the TPP during his first 100 days in office.
In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, New Balance said that "Obama turned a deaf ear to us and frankly with President-elect Trump we feel things are going to move in the right direction."
New Balance: "The Obama admin turned a deaf ear to us & frankly w/ Pres-Elect Trump we feel things are going to move in the right direction"— Sara Germano (@germanotes) November 9, 2016
@germanotes I have been wearing New Balance shoes (at $160/pair) for the past 10 years. If they support Trump, I've bought my last pair.— Julie Brannagh (@julieinduvall) November 10, 2016
Matt LeBretton, vice president of public affairs at New Balance, walked back the statement slightly in an interview with Buzzfeed. The quote was correct but it was taken out of context, he said.
“The statement [quoted by Sarah Germano] is correct in the context of trade, not talking about large geo-political anything, but in the context of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement," he told Buzzfeed.
LeBrotton continued to say the statements "aren't political," and the company only has opposition to the trade agreement. Still, that hasn't satisfied everyone.
"You can't cherry pick what you like about [Trump]," one Twitter user replied to Germano's tweet of the company's statement. "This means you approve of his racism and sexism."
@germanotes Trump is more than revoking TPP. You can't cherry pick what you like about him. This means you approve of his racism & sexism.— Tessa (@CurtessaJacques) November 10, 2016
@germanotes Happy to support local MA biz, but not when they openly support a racist, mysoginistic xenophobic know-nothing. Sorry for this.— Joe Angers (@JoeAngersIII) November 10, 2016
After Sole Collector, a sneaker-focused news site, wrote about the company's statements, sneaker aficionados responded to the article with images of their sneakers in the trash. Some even showed how they were destroying the shoes by burning them.
In a statement to Metro, a spokesperson for New Balance highlighted that the company is committed to making their shoes at their five factories throughout New England and said that the company works to support American manufacturing and jobs.
"As the only major company that still makes athletic shoes in the United States, New Balance has a unique perspective on trade in that we want to make more shoes in the United States, not less," the statement read. "New Balance publicly supported the trade positions of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump prior to election day that focused on American manufacturing job creation and we continue to support them today. We believe in community. We believe in humanity."