Damage Control After New Balance’s Chairman Donates $500,000 to Anti-Gay PAC

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The popular running shoe company, New Balance, has jumped into damage-control mode after Chairman James Davis made a private donation of a whopping $500,000 to a PAC that supports Republican and anti-gay presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The donation sparked a massive online backlash for the company, and a petition was quickly setup demanding a response from the company. The good news is, we got a response, but basically President/CEO Rob DeMartini distances his company’s policy of LGBT equality from that of the Chairman’s. Shouldn’t New Balance do more than make excuses for their Chairman’s anti-gay donation?

Check out their apology after the jump…

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.


Rob DeMartini

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