Dwayne Johnson, Under Armour delay sneaker launch in wake of Wisconsin shooting

(Reuters) – Under Armour Inc and actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on Thursday postponed the launch of a new sneaker collaboration following the shooting of a Black man in Wisconsin.

The sportswear maker’s move comes after several professional athletes refused to play games on Wednesday to protest racial injustice, hitting the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer.

Two-time tennis Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka pulled out of a tournament after reaching the semi-finals.

“We support all of those in sport who are currently demanding societal change across the United States and the globe,” Under Armour said in a statement.

Protests were widespread after the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in the city of Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday. It was the latest in a string of controversial shootings of Black men over the past few years.

“Out of respect for Jacob Blake & his family we’ll postpone our @projectrock @underarmour PR3 launch today,” Johnson tweeted here

“Unbelievable we’re here again. Shot 7xs. In the back. In front of his kids. There’s no progress without humanity.”

The shooting sparked several nights of civil unrest that included a wave of arson, widespread vandalism and separate shootings that claimed two lives.

Johnson, who is one of the of the world’s highest-paid actors, partnered with Under Armour in 2016 to design a sportswear line called Project Rock. They were set to launch a new line of sneakers on Thursday.

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