Not long after LeBretton's post-election comment went public, New Balance customers began trashing or setting fire to their sneakers and posting photos on Twitter.
But BuzzFeed pointed out that people have misunderstood New Balance's reaction to Trump's victory.
New Balance issued a statement to Sole Collector to explain its position:
As the only major company that still makes athletic shoes in the United States, New Balance has a unique perspective on trade and trade policy in that we want to make more shoes in the United States, not less. New Balance publicly supported the trade positions of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump prior to Election Day that focused on American manufacturing job creation and we continue to support them today.
The company also tweeted a message of community and humanity, though Trump and TPP were not mentioned.
LeBretton told BuzzFeed that his comments were only related to trade only.
"My statements aren't political. This is policy related solely to TPP," LeBretton said. "The statement (quoted by Sarah Germano) is correct in the context of trade, not talking about large geo-political anything, but in the context of the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement. It's inaccurate. Everything I've said is in the context of trade."