It appears someone has decided to put their foot down and stand alongside President-elect Donald Trump amid all of the protest he has been receiving the past 48 or so hours; and that foot is wearing a New Balance sneaker.
Matt LeBretton, the vice president of public affairs at New Balance who is quoted in the tweet above, has long opposed President Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership proposal (currently stalled in Congress). The belief is that TPP would strongly benefit foot apparel companies who do the majority of their manufacturing outside of the United States, rather than support America-based companies such as New Balance.
In an interview with NPR earlier this year, Lebretton vocalized his frustrations with the Obama administration:
Lebtretton: The hook to that was that we weren’t – we were told that we weren’t to speak about this publicly in any way, shape or form. And we weren’t to criticize the TPP or the administration in any way, shape or form. We took the deal.
NPR Reporter: And so when the TPP was being negotiated, New Balance kept its objections to itself and hoped to get a meeting with the military about those shoes. The meeting never came.
Lebretton: We couldn’t even get in the front door. I mean, they wouldn’t even let us in the parking lot.
New Balance and Trump is the perfect marriage. Trump, fair or unfairly, is perceived as the privileged man’s representative. New Balance, very fairly, is the privileged man’s shoe brand.
From college dudes who wear 990s with high white socks around campus, to fathers who have been buying the same white and blue pair over and over again for years, to grandfathers who don’t want to waste what little time they have left on this earth tying shoelaces rocking a pair of solid gray Velcros, New Balance is the shoe tradition passed down among your average suburban male from one generation to the next.
Shortly after the backing of Trump became public, protesters of the president-elect took to social media — because of course — to display their displeasure by throwing their New Balances in the trash and vowing to never buy another pair.
Did you see those plastic bottles mixed in with the rest of his trash? It appears someone must not believe in the adverse effects that deciding not to recycle has in relation to global warming — something Trump himself is not a firm believer in. See, maybe you and the Donald aren’t so different after all…
Some will say New Balance shot itself in the foot (slight pun intended) and has alienated half of its potential customers in this country by publicly supporting Trump. If there’s one thing we should have learned from this election, it’s don’t ever doubt Trump. He won’t soon forget those naysayers and, more importantly in this case, those who stood beside him. This move will ultimately pay off tenfold at the end of the day. I can see it already — workers building that wall on the Mexican border all wearing matching red, white and blue 627s.
By the way, Trump has already pledged to burn the paper TPP was written on as one of his first duties in office. Don’t worry about getting an extinguisher; Trump will stomp the fire out with his new pair of gold plated 574s..