The Baltimore headquarters of the Under Armour apparel company was built with millions in tax benefits. Photo: Phil Romans
On May 4, Stephen Curry, deadeye starting point guard for the Golden State Warriors, was named the 2015 National Basketball Association MVP. In honor of his award, Baltimore-based athletic gear firm Under Armour announced a special edition of his Curry One Basketball Shoe, currently the company’s bestseller.
A week before Curry won his award, Freddie Gray was buried. After the funeral, Baltimore Police deployed in full riot gear to Mondawmin Mall, situated on the city’s west side. The Baltimore school system doesn’t have its own buses, so many students access public transportation from Mondawmin. When school let out that day, students were prevented from getting on their buses by police in body armor. After a tense standoff, some students began to throw rocks at the police, who responded by tear-gassing them.
Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank was among the first in the local business community to respond to the protests. His lead his annual shareholders meeting by sending thoughts and prayers to Gray’s family and by promising he would work with other leaders to bring positive change to the city. However, Under Armour’s...