Blake Mycoskie, founder of the wildly popular TOMS Shoes, came under scrutiny late this week, when anti-gay group Focus on the Family announced that he had spoken at one of their events.
Following a barrage of criticism, Mycoskie has issued a statement insisting that he does not approve of the organization's politics and feels they misrepresented his appearance as a partnership.
Had I known the full extent of Focus on the Family’s beliefs, I would not have accepted the invitation to speak at their event. It was an oversight on my part and the company’s part and one we regret. In the last 18 months we have presented at over 70 different engagements and we do our best to make sure we choose our engagements wisely, on this one we chose poorly.
Furthermore, contrary to what has been reported, Focus on the Family is not a TOMS giving partner.
So there is no misunderstanding created by this mistake, let me clearly state that both TOMS, and I as the founder, are passionate believers in equal human and civil rights for all. That belief is a core value of the company and of which we are most proud.
This means, of course, that readers can still rock their TOMS without feeling like sell-outs.