New Balance has found a defender in New York Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson, who said that he will continue to wear the company's shoes no matter what its executives say.
New Balance has faced a wave of outrage after an executive voiced his opinion that things would "move in the right direction" under President Donald Trump given his position on trade deals—a position that was shared by both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
"The Obama administration turned a deaf ear to us and frankly with President-elect Trump we feel things are going to move in the right direction," said Matt LeBretton, New Balance's vice president of public affairs.
People began burning their New Balance shoes over the comment, but Granderson will continue to wear them.
"They still make a good product, still been making for a very long time, they are made here in the U.S. and they are comfortable," Granderson said during a Tuesday charity event. "If you like the shoes, buy the shoes, if you don't like the shoes, don't buy the shoes, but don't decide off what somebody happened to say."
Granderson shook his head after being told that people were burning their New Balance products over LeBretton's comment.
"If you like pepperoni pizza and I like sausage pizza, I shouldn't dislike you for that. It's just your opinion," Granderson said. "Hopefully the people are upset over the comments that were made, realize this is just someone who made a comment. It's an opinion."
New Balance, the only major athletic shoe company that makes its shoes in the United States, voiced its opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership long before the November election.
Granderson was recently given the Roberto Clemente Award for his charity work in New York City and Chicago.
In the wake of the election results last week, Granderson gave a similarly measured response.
"A lot of people came out and voted. The votes showed which way they wanted to see things happen. You had a lot of people on both sides of it," Granderson said last week.
"I think when I saw the popular vote it was close—Hillary won by a little margin, but in the big states where things were decided and could be decided, a lot of the people were Trump supporters on that side."
"America is one of the best places to be in the world and I'm excited to continue to be an American and be from here and as I travel throughout the world just to talk about all the different things that I've gotten a chance to experience and be a part of as being an American."