Under Armour CEO responds to criticism of Trump praise

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LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 06: Under Armour Founder and CEO Kevin Plank speaks during a keynote address by IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty at CES 2016 at The Venetian Las Vegas on January 6, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs through January 9 and is expected to feature 3,600 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to more than 150,000 attendees. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

BALTIMORE (AP) — The CEO of Baltimore-based sports apparel company Under Armour responded Wednesday to criticism he received after calling President Donald Trump “an asset to the country.”

In an open letter to Baltimore published as a full-page advertisement in The Baltimore Sun, Kevin Plank wrote that he wanted to clarify what values he and his company stand for.

“In a business television interview last week, I answered a question with a choice of words that did not accurately reflect my intent,” he wrote referring to an interview on CNBC on Feb. 7.

The company stands for equal rights and job creation and believes “immigration is a source of strength, diversity and innovation for global companies based in America,” Plank wrote. Also, the company opposes the president’s travel ban.

“With an anticipated new executive order on immigration set to come out, we will join a coalition of companies in opposition to any new actions that negatively impact our team, their families or our community,” he said.

Three celebrities the company sponsors — NBA star Stephen Curry, actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and ballerina Misty Copeland — were among those voicing concerns about his praise of Trump.

Johnson sent out a statement on social media last Thursday saying Plank’s words “were divisive and lacking in perspective.” Copeland wrote in an Instagram post she was so concerned about Plank’s comments that she spoke to him directly.