From Nike to Amazon, all the way to the video games you play, Black Lives Matter's messaging has infiltrated the corporate world, whether it's needed or not. Of course, it most often isn't.
Red Bull may be the first company to finally realize this. Earlier this week, the energy drink giant fired two of their most woke executives, chief executive Stefan Kozak along with chief marketing officer Amy Taylor, both from their North American team.
According to other employees, these “culture teams” were the most vocal about racial justice matters.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Taylor was:
met with opposition when she began advocating for Red Bull to be more overt in its support of racial justice in the last month, according to people familiar with the matter.
This came after more than 300 employees signed a letter expressing concern about the company's response to BLM, asking for "internal action," and criticized the company's “public silence.”
The letter, titled “Representation Matters at Red Bull” made many assertions and requests, including the following:
As we say nothing, we are abandoning the communities we claim to support and foster in their time of greatest need, absence during a time that demands action, reveals purported support as nothing more than exploitation.
In his reply to the letter, Kozak, the chief executive of course agreed, saying:
[Regarding] the current uprising... I share these views and I applaud those who peacefully and courageously have made their voices heard.
The company took it a step further, saying that Red Bull, “will reinforce Black representation in everything we do,” and “direct resources to the efforts of existing and new partners focused on equality in cities across the US.”
A graffiti artist and b-boy named Joel Martinez — who has participated in “Red Bull's BC One” breakdancing competition —provided a statement to Business Insider stating that he was upset about a #BlackoutTuesday post that Red Bull shared June 2.
Martinez asked, “why didn't red bull use the phrase “Black Lives Matter?” He continued, “this is a paradigm shift. All people wanting a better world is what the protests are about, why would Red Bull not stand behind that?”
That letter was addressed to the executives who are no longer working with the company.
I applaud Red Bull for this action and hope that others will follow suit.
Why does anyone need an energy drink brand to make statements siding with their political views? The simple answer is that it works everywhere else, so why not get some social clout and ask? You might get famous. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez might even tweet about you.
Imagine an employee at Starbucks requested financial support be sent to the NRA, stating: “I don't feel safe here at Starbucks, gun-owner representation matters.”
They'd be laughed at, fired and called out on social media, ruining their lives.
“Radical-right wing gun owners are infiltrating corporations and making employees feel unsafe.” It practically writes itself.