According to a whistleblower, fitness clothing company Under Armour forced its white employees last year to participate in a live training session that asked them to consider ways in which they might be racist or privileged and urged them to have “a little more going on than, we just were taught to see everybody as equal.”
Under Armour’s white employees were required in the spring of 2020 to participate in the diversity training program, according to videos of the training session provided to The Daily Wire by an internal whistleblower at Under Armour who asked to remain anonymous.
One of the program’s slides had a header reading, “Above the Surface: Dominant White Progressive Narratives,” and provided a list of statements purportedly in that category, including, “I was taught to treat everyone the same,” “I work in a very diverse environment,” “I have people of color in my family,” “I used to live in New York,” and “Children are so much more open.”
In another slide, the program asked employees about their education, prodding them to consider what were considered characteristics of “good” or “bad” schools, according to their upbringing.
“Did your parents care about what kind of school you went to? If so, why?” the program asked, along with, “How often had you had a teacher or professor of your own race(s)?”
The program also asked how often the employees had been to weddings or funerals that were “virtually all white?”
“What are some of the ways in which your race has shaped your life?” this section of the program concluded.
“Now there’s no way I can give you the time to answer that last one,” the program moderator said with a chuckle. “The last one should be something that you are thinking about if you are white for the rest of your life.”
“But I’m hoping that those questions for most white people surface, that there’s a little more going on than, we just were taught to see everybody as equal,” she added.
Last summer, Under Armour released a series of new diversity and inclusion actions that included a commitment to fill 12 percent of director and above positions with African American hires by 2023.
Under Armour is far from the first large company to frustrate its employees over diversity training programs that separate workers by race and are rife with condemnations of “whiteness.”
This week, Coca-Cola came under fire for a training seminar that reportedly encouraged the mammoth soft drink company’s employees to be “less white.”
“In the U.S. and other Western nations, white people are socialized to feel that they are inherently superior because they are white,” states one slide from the “Confronting Racism” course, allegedly shared by a whistleblower from inside the company. The training program was part of a LinkedIn Learning Series.
Other slides allegedly urged Coke employees to “try to be less white” as well as to “break with white solidarity,” “listen,” “believe,” and “be less oppressive.”
On Friday, Coca-Cola released a statement responding to the backlash, saying the training session video that went viral “is not a focus of our company’s curriculum” and promising to “continue to refine this curriculum.”
Coca-Cola later released a slightly different statement:
The video and images attributed to a Coca-Cola training program are not part of the company’s learning curriculum. Our Better Together global learning curriculum is part of a learning plan to help build an inclusive workplace. It is comprised of a number of short vignettes, each a few minutes long. The training includes access to LinkedIn Learning on a variety of topics, including on diversity, equity and inclusion.
In September, former President Trump issued an executive order mandating that federal agencies cease using taxpayer dollars to fund diversity training focusing on critical race theory, calling the programs “divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions.”
However, on his first day in office, President Biden overrode the previous administration’s order and rescinded the restrictions on federal agencies using the training programs.