Wednesday, August 10, 2011
New Balance Athletic Shoes President and CEO Jim Davis made a $500,000 donation to the Political Action Committee in support of anti-gay Mormon presidential candidate Mitt “Willard” Romney.
Now, the blow back from donation is making headlines. Here’s the company’s weaselly response. According to New Balance, while they admit Davis made the donation, New Balance doesn’t necessarily agree with the Romney’s recent decision to add his name to an anti-gay marriage pledge.
Dear New Balance associates, customers and consumers:
Earlier this year, a private donation was made by our Chairman to a political action committee that is affiliated with Mitt Romney. First, let me be clear that this was a private donation and not a contribution from New Balance. We encourage civic engagement at all levels and will always respect the right of any of our associates to engage in the political process as they see fit. We typically do not comment on private political donations; however, this situation is different.
Mr. Romney recently signed a pledge that challenges same sex marriage and that has offended many including those in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. Mr. Romney’s position on this issue is not reflective of Jim Davis’, my or New Balance’s position and support of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered community. As a company, New Balance embraces the differences in all people and we work tirelessly to create and sustain an environment where everyone – our associates, consumers, customers and guests – are treated with dignity and respect.