А maker of snowboards has apologized for a homophobic trade show banner that mocked its competitor, and has suspended the employees who created it. Some gay snowboarders are urging a boycott of the company’s products.
“The worst thing about riding a Burton is telling your friend you're gay,” read the banner posted by Ride snowboards. Reports say the banner and stickers bearing the same message were seen at snow industry trade shows in Montreal in February and also in Las Vegas. Ride and Burton are major competitors in the snowboard market.
After news of the banner appeared in the New York Post and was spread through the Internet, Ride (owned by K2) received e-mails of complaint at its website. By late Tuesday, the company had posted an apology in a small link on its home page. While not describing the incident in detail, it is clear that the apology is directed at the anti-gay banner.
“It has recently come to the attention of management at Ride Snowboards that a very inappropriate and insensitive statement was posted at our recent industry trade show booth,” wrote Robert Marcovitch, president of Ride Snowboards. “At the outset, we must be clear that our company and its employees in no way condone or otherwise support this type of activity or message. We are very disturbed by its occurrence.