Last week, Democrats took to social media to burn their New Balance trainers after the company appeared to praise Donald Trumps trade schemes. But what did the company really mean and should you be burning your kickings?
Whats that you say? Another social media furore surrounding the election? Well, of course. This time, its New Balance trainer fans unhappy that comments from the company seemed to show is supportive of president-elect Donald Trump.
New Balances head of public affairs, Matthew LeBretton, told the Wall Street Journal a day after the election: The Obama administration turned a deaf ear to us, and, candidly, with president-elect Trump, we feel things are going to move in the right direction. Dude, read the room. Or at the least, read the room of the millennial, ethnically diverse, liberal-leaning sneaker fans who have find the companys circa-2 010 revival from operating purists choice to Hackney stomping-ground staple.
The mass have been taking to Twitter to swear off the brand for life, torching their trainers, as if in a PE version of The Wicker Man. But will this upset throw New Balance off balance?
I ask the company to clarify its statement. LeBrettons remarks, a spokesman tells the Guardian, were correct only in the context of the topic of trade, and nothing else. That is to say: no, New Balance does not support Trump. In fact, the company reassures me that it does not tolerate intolerance or dislike in any form and is a values-driven organisation and culture that believes in humanity, integrity, community and mutual respect for people around the world. Which doesnt sound very Trumpian.