BALTIMORE (CBS News) — Under Armour faces its own #MeToo moment. Employees at the sports apparel maker were informed by email earlier this year that they may no longer charge visits to strip clubs on the company credit card, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
The restriction reversed a long-time practice that included Kevin Plank, the company’s chairman and CEO, the newspaper said.
A spokesperson for Under Armour told the Journal the company doesn’t condone use of adult entertainment for business, and Plank didn’t conduct business at strip clubs or use company funds at such venues.
Plank, a former football player at the University of Maryland, founded Under Armour in 1996, with the company growing into a global brand with almost $5 billion in annual revenue. Under Armour in September said it wouldby the end of March to reduce costs restructure its global operations.
“We have addressed these serious allegations of the past and will continue to address workplace behavior that violates our policies,” Under Armour said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch. “Inappropriate behavior that challenges our values or violates our policies is unacceptable – and will not be tolerated. We are committed to providing a respectful and inclusive workplace.”
Under Armour did not comment on the specifics detailed by the Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter in reporting that executives and employees went with athletes to strip clubs after corporate events over the years.
The strip-club visits were among the practices that female workers at the company found demeaning, more than a dozen former and current employees and executives told the Journal. In addition, women were invited to a yearly Under Armour event based on their looks to entice male guests, the sources said.
Scott Plank, the CEO’s brother, left Under Armour in 2012 amid allegations of sexual misconduct, people familiar with the matter told the Journal. At the time, the company said he’d retired to focus on another venture and philanthropy.