Under Armour (NYSE:UAA) founder and CEO Kevin Plank announced late Monday evening he will step down from President Donald Trump’s American Manufacturing Council – becoming the second CEO to leave the council that day.
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“I love our country and our company and will continue to focus my efforts on inspiring every person that they can do anything through the power of sport which promotes unity, diversity and inclusion,” Plank said in a statement.
I love our country & company. I am stepping down from the council to focus on inspiring & uniting through power of sport. - CEO Kevin Plank pic.twitter.com/8YvndJMjj1— Under Armour (@UnderArmour) August 15, 2017
Plank, who did not say exactly why he was stepping down, joined Merck (NYSE:MRK) CEO Kenneth Frazier, who also announced he was leaving the president’s business council on Monday.
The resignations of both Plank and Frazier come in the wake of what critics have called a weak response by Trump to violent clashes at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday, which left one woman dead and more than a dozen other people injured.
Frazier, one of the most prominent African-American business executives, did not give a specific reason for stepping down either, but said he was doing so “as a matter of personal conscience” and that he felt “a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.”
In response to the Merck CEO’s decision to quit the council, Trump lashed out at Frazier on Twitter.
“Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!" he tweeted.
Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council,he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2017
Hours later, Trump continued his attack, tweeting: “Merck Pharma is a leader in higher & higher drug prices while at the same time taking jobs out of the U.S. Bring jobs back & LOWER PRICES!”
.@Merck Pharma is a leader in higher & higher drug prices while at the same time taking jobs out of the U.S. Bring jobs back & LOWER PRICES!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2017
The president condemned the violent events in Charlottesville for a second time, during a statement at the White House Monday afternoon.
“Racism is evil,” Trump said. “And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”