Last week a spokesman for New Balance, the only major company still making athletic shoes in the U.S., told a reporter that it favors President-elect Trump’s position that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is bad for America.

New Balance twitter feedBefore New Balance knew what happened, white supremacists seized on this statement and dubbed New Balance sneakers “the official shoes of white people.”

New Balance promptly rejected the unwanted endorsement, but it was too late to keep up with the breakneck speed of social media which lit up with photos and videos of New Balance sneakers being burned and tossed in trash cans and toilets.

Dorothy CrenshawCrenshaw

In an article on Bloomberg today, Dorothy Crenshaw, founder of Crenshaw Communications, insisted that New Balance should never have had to deal with this crisis.

Crenshaw explained that there’s a time and place for companies to weigh in on important issues, but this wasn’t one of those.

"This seems to be the case of a brand misjudging its base,” Crenshaw said.

Crenshaw anticipates more battles like this over political differences between companies and their customers.

“As the only major company that still makes athletic shoes in the U.S., New Balance has a unique perspective on trade in that we want to make more shoes in the U.S., not less,” the company was quoted in the Bloomberg story.