New Balance Shoes CEO Makes $500,000 Donation to Anti-Gay Super PAC
Now that the mysterious Super PAC funding Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign has had the dirt dug up on it, many of the donors are doing their best to backtrack. Romney, as you may know, has already pledged to beat gay marriage to a pulp if elected president, so money being funneled into his campaign comes with a flat anti-gay judgement. Period.
So who has been funding Romney’s campaign? Lots of finance folks who most of us have likely never heard of for the most part. But a few household names do stick out.
Marriott Hotel owners J.W. and Richard Marriott contributed a cool million dollars between the two of them. And New Balance Athletic Shoes CEO, James Davis donated $500,000. Homos, Marriott and New Balance are officially on our shit list.
Immediately sensing the disastrous problem that having your chairman outed as a homophobe poses, New Balance has gone on the defense this morning, releasing a statement-apology hybrid.
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 President/CEO
Here’s the thing; regardless of whether or not Mr. Davis shares Romney’s dream of a straights-only marriage world, homeboy donated half a million dollars toward making that world happen. If David doesn’t in fact share this homophobic worldview, then he ought to be ashamed of himself for throwing good money toward bringing it about.
This apology rings hollow on gay ears. It’s grossly lacking to literally pay to take away our rights, but tell us you don’t really mean it that way. The fact of the matter is that if you are gay and you purchase New Balance shoes, your money is being used to pay a CEO who then spends that money to legislate against you.
Apology not accepted.