Sports shoe company New Balance is facing backlash after seemingly showing support for President-elect Donald Trump (video below).
After Trump’s unexpected win, a spokesman for the shoe company commented on his win to The Wall Street Journal.
“Frankly w/ Pres-Elect Trump we feel things are going to move in the right direction,” the spokesman said. The statement sparked outrage among customers, who felt the company was condoning Trump’s perceived bigotry and xenophopia.
Many customers went so far as to burn pairs of New Balance shoes as a form of protest. Video of one protest shows a pair of New Balance shoes in flames on a sidewalk.
In response to the outrage over the statement, New Balance released another statement saying the company believes in “community” and “humanity.”
“From the people who make our shoes to the people who wear them, we believe in acting with the utmost integrity and we welcome all walks of life,” the statement read. The company also clarified its original statement was in reference to Trump's stance on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and not his other policies and positions.
Many readers stood by the company after the story went viral.
“Love your shoes, have just bought two pairs," one Daily Mail reader wrote in response. "Outstanding fit! Supports breast cancer. Employs US citizens, even customer services are US citizens when you call. I a man willing to pay for the overall quality of their product. And good for you supporting Mr. Trump. These protesters are all being paid to disrupt our rule of law. Ignore them.”
"I'm gonna go buy 5 new pairs of New Balance!" another added. "Smart company!!"
“Are the 'burners' aware that New Balance is the only major running shoe company that has part of its production in USA??" another supporter wrote. "Way to support your country AND ruin the atmosphere.”