Tag Archives: New Balance

Site says New Balance official shoe for white supremacists

A white supremacist website has declared footwear manufacturer New Balance the “Official Shoes of White People.”

The Boston Globe reported the alt-right website The Daily Stormer made the proclamation over the weekend, after New Balance vice president of public affairs Matt LeBretton praised Republican President-elect Donald Trump.

LeBretton told the Wall Street Journal that the election of Trump was a move in the “right direction.”

New Balance, which is based in Boston, later said the comment was referencing Trump’s stance opposing a proposed international trade agreement.

“New Balance has a unique perspective on trade in that we want to make more shoes in the U.S., not less,” it said in a statement last week.

Still, LeBretton’s comment sparked protests.

People who don’t like Trump posted social media videos of themselves throwing their New Balance shoes in the trash or even burning them.

The Daily Stormer founder Andrew Anglin said he believes New Balance’s support of Trump could be a marketing scheme. But he said the website is campaigning to buy the company’s products and is encouraging others to do the same.

LeBretton didn’t immediately return a request for comment about the support from the white supremacist website.

New Balance, which also sells fitness apparel, said in a tweet during the burning-shoes protest that it believes in community, humanity and “acting with the utmost integrity” and that it welcomes “all walks of life.”


New Balance shoes chairman gives $500,000 to Romney

A Boston manufacturer of athletic shoes is under fire from LGBT groups over a $500,000 political donation its chairman gave to a group supporting Republican Mitt Romney for president.

New Balance chairman Jim Davis made the donation on June 15 to Restore Our Future, a pro-Romney PAC. Romney signed a five-point pledge last week circulated by the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage.

New Balance president Rob DeMartini posted a statement on the company’s Facebook page saying the contribution was “a private donation” unconnected to the company.

“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,” DeMartini wrote. “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.”

Last year Target and Best Buy faced boycotts over their contributions to a Minnesota group supporting an anti-equality gubernatorial candidate in that state.

Restore Our Future, which was formed by three former Romney aides, does not have to abide by spending or contribution restrictions. Good-government activists heavily criticized a $1 million contribution to the group because it was made through a dummy corporation designed to hide the identity of the donor.

Longtime Romney supporter Edward Conard eventually admitted that he was the donor.