It looks like even shoe brands have gotten into the crosshairs of this year’s heated political debate.
Shortly following President-elect Donald Trump’s win, athletic gear company New Balance publicly backed the president when its vice president of public affairs released a statement supporting Trump and opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
New Balance has prioritized the manufacture of four million pairs of shows in the U.S. each year, something it’s done since the brand was founded in 1906. The Trans-Pacific Partnership allows rivals like Nike benefit in lower taxes for manufacturing overseas.
Despite their best intentions, the brand immediately found that entering politics while clothing millions of Americans was a bad idea.
People began posting videos across the internet where they lit their New Balance sneakers on fire or threw them away in protest of the brand’s support for Trump.
Shortly after, neo-Nazi blogger Andrew Anglin declared New Balance the “Official Shoes of White People,” further adding to the company’s PR nightmare.
This move forced New Balance to release a second statement on the Trump comment denouncing any form of bigotry or hate.
Aaron Cline Hanbury is a contributing editor for RELEVANT. You can follow him on Twitter at @achanbury