An “alt-right” website has called New Balance “the official shoes of white people” and “the officialbrand of the Trump Revolution” after comments from the company about President-elect Donald Trump gained attention.
The Daily Stormer, awhite supremacist “news and commentary” website endorsed the Boston-based company over the weekend. On Monday, New Balancedistanced itself from the site, saying the company”does not tolerate bigotry or hate in any form.”
After Trump’s win, a representative from New Balance said in a comment to a Wall Street Journal reporter that with Trump, “we feel things are going to move in the right direction.”
New Balance later clarified that the statement was specifically about Trump’s trade policy, because the sneaker company makes their shoes entirely at their five New England factories and works to support American manufacturing and jobs.
Still, fans of the sneakers were upset and said that the company can’t “cherry pick” what it likes about Trump. People tweeted photos of themselves burning or throwing away their New Balance sneakers.
“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.”
New Balance has been critical of the Obama administration in the past because of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The company said that the trade deal could doom shoes made in the U.S.
“One of our officials was recently asked to comment on a trade policy that was taken out of context,” astatement from New Balance in light of The Daily Stormer article said.”As a 110-year old company with five factories in the U.S. and thousands of employees worldwide from all races, genders, cultures and sexual orientations, New Balance is a values-driven organization and culture that believes in humanity, integrity, community and mutual respect for people around the world. We have been and always will be committed to manufacturing in the United States.”
— New Balance (@newbalance) November 15, 2016