New Balance Faces Backlash After Reportedly Supporting Donald Trump

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Sneakerheads everywhere are going wild after Donald Trump reportedly got his first running shoe endorsement: New Balance.

On Wednesday, Wall Street Journal reporter Sara Germano tweeted a quote from New Balance's vice-president for public affairs, which appeared to declare the brand's support for the U.S. president-elect.

"The Obama admin turned a deaf ear to us and frankly with Pres-Elect Trump, we feel things are going to move in the right direction," Matthew LeBretton was quoted as saying.

The damage was swift even though LeBretton later tried to clarify the context of his quote. The statement was picked up by popular sneaker blog SoleCollector.com, which led many Twitter users to destroy or throw out their NB kicks, some even setting them on fire.


However, according to LeBretton, his quote was taken out of context.

"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," LeBretton told Buzzfeed News.

"It’s inaccurate. Everything I’ve said is in the context of trade."

Like Trump, New Balance is opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a proposed free trade deal between 12 countries which aims to eliminate tariffs and foster trade to boost growth that was backed by President Barack Obama's administration.

Since New Balance is a U.S.-based brand, it feels like the agreement would hurt business.

Its competitor, Nike, however, is in support of the proposed deal.

LeBretton's quote and negative coverage has led to calls for a boycott of New Balance.

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