People have been burning their New Balance sneakers after a white supremacist website, the Daily Stormer, dubbed the athletic gear “the official shoes of white people.”
Andrew Anglin’s alt-right website supported New Balance over the weekend, writing in a blog post that he’s “a Nike guy. Or rather, I was. It’s time to get on-board with New Balance now. Their brave act has just made them the official brand of the Trump Revolution.”
However, the Boston-based company doesn’t want to be associated with the endorsement, saying in a statement on Monday that it “does not tolerate bigotry or hate in any form.”
This comes shortly after Trump’s victory when it was found that a New Balance executive told the Wall Street Journal in an interview that, “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.”
The company tried to clarify the comments were blown out of proportion, and it was really directed at Trump’s trade policies.
New Balance, which is the only major company that still manufactures athletic shoes in the United States, stated the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement would be bad for business and help the competition overseas.
Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont also opposed the policy even before election day, according to the Washington Post.
“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,” it said in the company statement.
— New Balance (@newbalance) November 15, 2016
But people who own the sneakers weren’t having any of it and expressed their anger by tweeting photos and videos of themselves burning or throwing away their pair of New Balance gear in the trash.
— skreetware (@milftears) November 10, 2016
— M.A. Fortin (@SeniorTeenager) November 10, 2016
One woman even went as far as flushing her shoes down the toilet.
— 🐣✨ (@artsy_indy) November 10, 2016
Another man took a balanced view of the issue:
“I am not a Trump supporter, I didn’t vote for him, and I don’t like him,” he wrote on the company’s Facebook page, according to the Wall Street Journal. “Knowing that NB opposes the TPP is a reason to support them and I will buy my athletic shoes from them from now on.”
In a follow-up post on his neo-Nazi blog, Anglin falsely claimed that the Twitter account of New Balance had been breached by hackers who wanted to denounce their “Republican agenda.”
The Daily Stormer founder also believes that New Balance backing Trump could be a marketing scheme, the Associated Press reported. But Anglin said his website is campaigning to purchase other New Balance products and is pushing others to do so as well.