Capping what's been a tumultuous week for the company, a senior executive for New Balance has been quoted as saying that he and others at the Boston-based shoe manufacturer often "club the s*** out of" baby seals.
The executive, Daniel Partridge, made the remarks in an interview to be published Saturday in the Hopkinton (Mass.) Gazette. Dumb Runner obtained an early copy of the article.
In the interview, Partridge begins by addressing a statement made earlier by another New Balance executive. As recapped in a recent USA Today article:
New Balance found itself in the middle of controversy after Matthew LeBretton, the company's vice president of public affairs, told The Wall Street Journal the day after the presidential election 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."
That quote sparked a backlash on social media, with many urging a boycott of the company and some even posting videos of themselves burning their New Balance shoes.
Those comments were taken out of context, Partridge maintains in the Gazette article, saying that his colleague was talking only about the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement—not endorsing the president-elect or any of his other policies.
He then goes on to describe New Balance's commitment to America and American jobs, pointing out that his is "the only major company" to produce a significant number of athletic shoes in the U.S.
For reasons that are unclear, Partridge then pivots abruptly to another topic.
"You know," he tells the newspaper, "another thing that many folks don't realize is that we enjoy clubbing baby seals."
"It's not easy, or cheap," he continues. "Believe me. You're in Boston and you want to club the s*** out of some baby seals, you've either gotta hop on a plane or have them shipped in. Either way, it takes some doing."
Unprompted, he continues.
"We don't even use the fur," he says. "It's just a stress-relief thing."
Partridge ends the interview by telling the newspaper that he believes the Trump-inspired backlash will subside soon.
"We're confident," he says, "that when people get the facts, they will realize that this was all a big misunderstanding."
"We're eager to put this brouhaha behind us, so we can get back to doing what we love—making quality athletic footwear, right here in the U.S.A., and clubbing baby seals to death."
Repeated phone calls to the New Balance public relations department yesterday went unreturned.