The Backlash Against New Balance Is Real

Jihan Forbes
·Associate Editor
The backlash against New Balance is real. (Photo: New Balance)
The backlash against New Balance is real. (Photo: New Balance)

New Balance is under (or on) fire — literally.

Following the election last week, the athletic footwear and apparel brand became one of the first international companies to congratulate President-elect Donald Trump, it appears mainly because of what his proposed policies could mean for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. As reported in the Wall Street Journal, Matt LeBretton, the vice president of public affairs at New Balance said, “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.”

Days later, the white supremacist site The Daily Stormer, published an article calling New Balance the “official shoes of white people” and the “official brand of the Trump Revolution.”

In response, some people on social media are showing their disdain for the brand’s endorsement by defacing their New Balance sneakers on social media, or tossing them in the trash.








While these acts of protest may be entertaining to see played out online, it’s evidence of just how deeply divided this country is, and that people feel very strongly about this election — and they don’t plan to abide the president-elect or his supporters. Of course, there are also people online who aren’t too keen on this particular form of resistance, saying that disadvantaged people could make use of the shoes. Others simply support the brand’s position because they support Trump or New Balance’s position on TPP.





On Monday, the Boston, Mass.-based sneaker company, one of the last shoe manufacturers to still produce its good in the United States, issued a statement saying it “does not tolerate bigotry or hate in any form.”

The post, which was shared on Facebook and received nearly 6,000 likes and more than 1,000 shares, continued: “As a 110-year-old company with five factories in the U.S. and thousands of employees worldwide from all races, genders, cultures, and sexual orientations, New Balance is a values-driven organization and culture that believes in humanity, integrity, community, and mutual respect for people around the world.”

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