BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Political newcomer and Baltimore City Councilman Ryan Dorsey is facing backlash after comparing Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank’s Port Covington plan to white supremacy.
Councilman, Dorsey, is not backing-down from his cutting comments about Plank.
“It shouldn’t take a white elected person saying anything about systemic racism for it to get attention, when black people have been saying this for a very long time,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey is under political fire after posting several comments on the Baltimore City Voter’s Facebook page about the City’s deal with Plank to develop Port Covington and criticized Plank for being one of several business leaders who met with President Donald Trump.
He said “white supremacy cozying up to white supremacy? Shocker,” and “Plank is not a local. He does not live in Baltimore. He is not about Baltimore. He is, himself, an occupying, colonizing, culturally appropriating force.”
“There’s a real difference between attacking a person and attacking a system of oppression,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey said the Port Covington project will further segregate the City. His comments, unleashed a wave of push-back from other city leaders.
“The city council is elected by the people of the City and I think there’s no room for any of us to chastise anyone who makes contributions to the City,” Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said.
Dorsey was elected in November to represent northeast Baltimore. He has been very outspoken about racial inequality.
WJZ reached out to Plank for a comment and received a statement from Plank Industries CEO Tom Geddes:
“I hope that Mr. Dorsey will quickly learn that it is possible to have robust public discussions about civic priorities without resorting to false accusations. Such behavior is entirely unworthy of his office. Kevin Plank’s commitment to Baltimore is unparalleled. He is proud to grow Under Armour here and to continue his significant personal investments and philanthropic contributions to this great City.”
Plank’s development company, Sagamore, is building the $5.5 billion dollar project. It will include a new headquarters for Under Armour, housing, restaurants and shops.