Fans of Ben & Jerry’s are asking the ice cream brand to create a non-dairy pint inspired by athlete and activist Colin Kaepernick—who famously took a knee in 2016 during the National Anthem to bring awareness to racial inequality. Curtiss Reed, Jr., executive director of social-justice organization Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity, recently launched a petition entitled, “Tell Ben & Jerry’s to Feature Colin Kaepernick on Their Ice Cream to Promote Racial Justice.” Reed points out that since its founding in 1978, the Vermont-based ice cream brand has created pint flavors inspired by white people such as comedian Stephen Colbert, singer Elton John, and musician John Lennon, but has only introduced one flavor dedicated to an African-American—its “Yes Pecan” flavor released in 2009 to honor former president Barack Obama. “Send a message to Ben & Jerry’s that Colin Kaepernick, our modern day Mohammed Ali, should grace a pint,” Reed stated in the petition. “What better way to show the rest of the world a corporate ethos fighting for racial justice.” Colin Kaepernick fan Elizabeth Hoffman wrote a letter to Vermont media outlet Reformer regarding the petition. “Colin Kaepernick is a vegan, so the flavor should definitely be non-dairy,” Hoffman said. “If the wording of the petition is changed to specify non-dairy ice cream, I think support for it will increase, because vegans, who are generally concerned with justice for all living beings, will promote it.” Ben & Jerry’s debuted its first line of almond milk-based flavors in 2016 and continues to expand its non-dairy line—which, at nine varieties, currently comprises 20 percent of its pint flavors.
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