Dozens of brands have been caught in the middle of controversy as President Trump has taken to Twitter to condemn NFL players’ protests during the national anthem.
The anthem protests, started by Colin Kaepernick last year, were meant to protest police brutality against black Americans.
Now, after President Trump derided players who have knee led during the anthem, the issue has blown up into a dangerous firestorm for brands trying to avoid controversy.
There are 35 brands sponsoring the NFL this year. Of those, a few have put out statements.
Most of the statements seem to neither support Trump’s criticisms nor the players who have protested during the national anthem, though a few go far enough to defend players.
- Under Armour Facebook
“[Under Armour] stands for the flag and by our Athletes [sic] for free speech, expression and a unified America,” the brand tweeted.
- Larry Busacca/Getty Images
Rival Nike‘s statement was more definitive: “Nike supports athletes and their right to freedom of expression on issues that are of great importance to our society.”
Carmakers have also weighed in. Ford told Bloomberg that the company does “respect individuals’ rights to express their views, even if they are not ones we share. That’s part of what makes America great.”
Hyundaisaid in a statement: “We stand for and respect individuals’ freedoms to express their first amendment rights in any peaceful manner in which they choose. We also stand for inclusion, freedom and all that represents those values.”
- Commercials TV/YouTube
AB InBev sent Yahoo a similar statement: “At Anheuser-Busch we have a long heritage of supporting the institutions and values that have made America so strong. That includes our armed forces and the national anthem as well as diversity, equality and freedom of speech.”
- Rafi Letzter/Tech Insider
Bose told Yahoo: “We proudly fly the American flag. It’s a symbol of our great country which protects the freedom for every person to express their views. We respect that freedom, whether we agree with those views or not.”