There have been all kinds of reactions following President-elect Donald Trump's shocking victory early Wednesday morning. One of those reactions was people deciding to torch their New Balance shoes because they thought the company endorsed Trump.
The non-controversy controversy arose Wednesday evening when, according to Wall Street Journal reporter Sara Germano, a New Balance spokesperson expressed praise for the president-elect and some criticism for outgoing President Barack Obama.
New Balance: "The Obama admin turned a deaf ear to us & frankly w/ Pres-Elect Trump we feel things are going to move in the right direction"— Sara Germano (@germanotes) November 9, 2016
That comment led Sole Collector, an online shoe magazine, to publish an article titled, "New Balance Approves of Trump Presidency." That story, of course, quickly gained attention, and soon thereafter Matt LeBretton, New Balance's public affairs vice president, corrected the record in a statement to BuzzFeed: "My statements aren’t political, this is policy related solely to [Trans-Pacific Partnership]."
And later Thursday, New Balance issued a full public statement, saying they "welcome all walks of life" — likely a reference to Trump's controversial positions on issues like immigration and race.
The company also clarified its position in a statement to Sole Collector: "New Balance publicly supported the trade positions of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump prior to election day that focused on American manufacturing job creation and we continue to support them today."
But the damage was, literally, already done:
To the contrary, New Balance's competitor, Nike, is hoping the Obama administration will get the TPP deal signed before Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, 2017, when Trump takes the reigns. Most of Nike's jobs are based overseas, so TPP would benefit the company with lower tariffs, while New Balance makes its shoes in Massachusetts and Maine.
Looking at the electoral map, though, it's safe to say that for every person who burned their New Balance shoes, another might have bought their first pair.