Fans of outspoken NFL quarterback and vegan Colin Kaepernick are requesting a new flavor of Ben & Jerry’s dairy-free ice cream be launched in his honor.
Kaepernick famously refused to stand during the National Anthem in 2016 to raise awareness of racial injustice, taking a knee as a form of protest. The brave move prompted both controversy and praise, with many now regarding the athlete as a hero. Curtiss Reed Jr., Executive Director at the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity, even dubbed Kaepernick as a “modern day Muhammed Ali.”
Reed has launched a petition asking international ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s to develop a new pint named after the footballer. “Ben & Jerry’s has been talking the social justice talk for 40 years however it has yet to walk the walk of racial justice as evidenced by who it chooses to feature on its pints of ice cream,” the director noted. Adding that, “as of this submission, all but two of the featured flavors were white men (Garcia, Colbert, Fallon, Phis, et al). The other two were white women.”
The brand has launched but one ice cream flavor in honor of an African American man, Barack Obama, in 2009, aptly named “Yes Pecan!”
In a letter to the Reformer, a local Vermont media outlet, Elizabeth Hoffman voiced her support for Reed’s petition. However, she suggested just one correction – that the petition asks for a vegan flavor, specifically. Ben & Jerry’s currently offer a number of vegan ice cream options, in flavors including Cinnamon Buns, Caramel Almond Brittle, and Chunky Monkey.
“As an admirer of Colin Kaepernick, I applaud Curtiss Reed Jr.’s petition asking Ben & Jerry[‘s] to name an ice cream flavor after him,” Hoffman starts. She adds, “Colin Kaepernick is a vegan, so the flavor should definitely be non-dairy. I was surprised, however, that Mr. Reed is apparently unaware that Ben & Jerry[‘s] produce a line of non-dairy ice creams.”
“If the wording of the petition is changed to specify non-dairy ice cream, I think support for it will increase,” she notes. “Because vegans, who are generally concerned with justice for all living beings, will promote it.”