Sports can be a welcome escape from the stresses of day-to-day lives and/or potentially world-altering geo-political events. Or, it could be what will inevitably feel like the longest international break in the history of international breaks, and Liverpool’s primary kit sponsor just came out in support of the reason for a great deal of non-football related stress.
In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, a New Balance spokesman came out in support of President-Elect Trump:
New Balance: "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"— Sara Germano (@germanotes) November 9, 2016
For those of us who were already iffy on New Balance for their connection to the frequently sexist former Liverpool sponsor, Warrior, this might further complicate that relationship.
It could also create some strain between Liverpool’s owner John Henry, a strong supporter of the Democratic Party, and the Boston-based sports apparel kit sponsor. Henry is on record for several six-figure donations to the Democratic Party over the years, although he did not appear to be fully in Clinton’s camp, even tweeting to Michael Bloomberg in support of a third-party run in 2015.
Many critiques of New Balance have been more to do with their often-uninspiring selection of kits, and not their political views. But given the extremely polarizing nature of this election—and New Balance’s frankly baffling decision to wade publicly into the political fray—it is reasonable to assume that some Liverpool fans will be sufficiently turned off by the kit sponsor. For the discerning Liverpool supporter, there are other options.
Liverpool resume their Premier League campaign with a tough road trip to Southampton in 9 days. It cannot come soon enough.