When some people with New Balance sneakers heard that the company was publicly celebrating the election of Donald Trump, they reacted by burning and discarding their shoes, and posting videos and pictures on social media. Like this:
— kiemzi (@kiemzi) November 10, 2016
So which sportswear company can these people to turn to, if New Balance's support of Trump offends their sensibilities? There are a lot of complexities to campaign donations and what they mean. But a report by Jon Solomon of CBSSports.com last month might be a good place to start.
Solomon researched which athletes and team owners had donated to the campaigns of Trump and Hillary Clinton, and how much they gave. But he also included the donations by the founders of Nike and Under Armour, two of the biggest companies in the athletic apparel industry.
Phil Knight of Nike did not contribute to either presidential campaign this year. Solomon noted that while Knight had given GOP candidate Mitt Romney $5,000 in 2012, he was like many Republicans in sports who "turned their money this time toward congressional races instead of Trump." Knight gave $89,600 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, $33,400 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and $10,400 to House Speaker Paul Ryan and his political action committee, according to Solomon's research.
Kevin Plank of Under Armour gave $2,700 to Clinton's campaign.
Now we encourage you to do your homework if you're going to shopping for a politically palatable replacement for the pair of New Balance shoes that you destroyed or pitched. But also consider the reason behind the company's celebratory mood regarding Trump.
New Balance's support of Trump, Sara Germano of The Wall Street Journal wrote, is because the company has long been "an opponent of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement" and "welcomed the election of Mr. Trump as a reprieve from the policies of President Barack Obama."
Germano then ran a quote from Matthew LeBretton, New Balance's vice president of public affairs: "The Obama administration turned a deaf ear to us and frankly, with President-elect Trump, we feel things are going to move in the right direction."
So if you're against the TPP, maybe that's reason to stick with New Balance. (Nike supports TPP.) But if any backing of Trump is too much to stomach, you can gain some inspiration from these folks:
— skreetware (@milftears) November 10, 2016
— Jon Targaryen (@tbrooks__) November 10, 2016