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Misty Copeland: I don't have the same beliefs as our President

American Ballet Theatre principal dancer, Misty Copeland, joins Influencers to discuss how she chooses which corporate brands to represent.

Video Transcript

ANDY SERWER: A few years ago you criticized then CEO of Under Armour Kevin Plank about comments he made about President Trump. Was that difficult to do, I mean, given that you're an Under Armour athlete? And-- and what made you make that kind of call?

MISTY COPELAND: You know, I-- I-- yes, it-- it was-- it was difficult in that I wanted to do it in the most respectful way. You know, I-- I had spoken to Kevin Plank, you know, before releasing my statement, earring, you know, his intent and what he had to say.

So it was never, you know, an attack, you know? I feel like everything that I approach, it's to open a dialogue. It's to-- it's to-- to have a conversation. And it's not just to kind of attack one-sided.

I wanted to, you know, make it clear coming for me as a Black athlete, you know, that was a-- was an ambassador an-- an athlete for Under Armour that I don't have those same beliefs as our president, and-- and separating it in that way rather than just putting down Kevin Plank or saying that, you know, we can't coexist because we have different ideas. But just to really separate myself from anything that I just don't stand for.

ANDY SERWER: Right. Is-- is it difficult to sort of make this call where the head of an organization supports Trump, and yet maybe use their products or somehow interact with that company or organization?

MISTY COPELAND: It's such a hard balance, you know? I-- I had already been with Under Armour for years, you know, when-- when that happened. But I'm very cognizant of all of the brands that I'm a part of, you know? It-- it has to really align with who I am. And-- and-- and, you know, if I'm walking the walk, I need to talk the talk.

And if I'm attached to a brand, it's not going to just-- to be seen. It's not going to be because I want to make money. It's going to be because I think it will make a difference. It-- I think will bring value to more people. It'll include more people. So it was a very difficult and unusual position to be in in the midst of already been-- having been an athlete for Under Armour.

But I feel like, you know, even, you know, Stephen Curry and myself spoke and, you know, kind of came together on our feelings about moving forward with Under Armour and what we felt Under Armour really stood for. And-- and that, you know, we could coexist with different ideals.

ANDY SERWER: I don't know if you ever think about or get involved in anything like boycotting Goya beans over its CEO's comments on-- on Trump. I don't know if that's something that resonates with you.

MISTY COPELAND: Yeah. I mean, I-- I see it all. I-- I-- I hear it all. But, you know, I-- I do my best to-- to really stay in-- I don't want to say stay in my lane, because that sounds like I'm like, you know, just not-- not open enough to be able to be free.

But I think in-- in using my voice in a way that I think it will be most powerful, so I'm not just kind of putting my-- my two cents into every-- everything that comes out there that's political. But really, that I think I get to have a true impact on, and that really makes sense for me, and means something to me.