Last week Boston.com reported that New Balance Chairman and Owner James Davis had donated $500,000 to the campaign of anti-gay GOP presidential hopeful and NOM supporter Mitt Romney.
New Balance’s President and CEO Rob DeMartini has responded to complaints by posting the following statement on Facebook:
New Balance Statement on Political Donation
A letter from our CEO:
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.
Many companies with anti-gay sympathetic/pro-GOP Chairmen/Presidents will have this as a template now as they make even more political contributions in the future and we should not accept them and we should not accept this.
DeMartini called James Davis the “Chairman” of New Balance and indeed his his. But he and his family are also the OWNERS of New Balance which is a privately held company, so there really is no separation between Mr. Davis, his company, and his money.
Davis can spend money to support candidates and issues as he pleases, I am also welcome to spend my dollars with companies who leaders are not trying to legislate me out of existence.
If New Balance wants to make a sincere apology. They can please attach it to the $500k check that you write to Freedom to Marry. Then we’ll talk because NOTHING less will do.
Until then BOYCOTT – Its really well past time that we keep “gay money” in the gay community and only support TRUE LGBT friendly businesses