Kaepernick and Ben & Jerry’s team up to ‘amplify calls to defund and abolish the police’
Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick who turned Black Lives Matter activist while taking a stance against police has partnered with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to debut a new flavor on Thursday called “Change the Whirled.” The move is a direct attack against the police and their funding. The company said it created the flavor to celebrate “Kaepernick’s courageous work to confront systemic oppression and to stop police violence against Black and Brown people.”
Kaepernick said in a press release that he hopes his partnership with the ice cream company would raise the volume on his calls to abolish and defund the police.
“I’m honored to partner with Ben & Jerry’s on Change the Whirled,” Kaepernick said. “Their commitment to challenging the anti-Black roots of policing in the United States demonstrates a material concern for the wellbeing of Black and Brown communities. My hope is that this partnership will amplify calls to defund and abolish the police and to invest in futures that can make us safer, healthier, and truly free.”
The non-dairy ice cream flavor is set to hit shelves in 2021.
“Colin Kaepernick and his Know Your Rights Camp is the perfect partner for Ben & Jerry’s to continue to advance our work on issues of racial justice,” Ben & Jerry’s CEO Matthew McCarthy said in a press release. “Ben & Jerry’s is proud to diversify our flavor portfolio by honoring Kaepernick with a full-time flavor. We deeply respect how Colin uses his voice to protest racism, white supremacy, and police violence through the belief that ‘love is at the root of our resistance. We have tremendous hope in what we can accomplish together.”
“We’re proud to be working with a dedicated activist like Colin Kaepernick, whose work helped spark the international conversation around racial justice.” Ben & Jerry’s said. They consider Kaepernick highly marketable.
Ben & Jerry’s joins a list of companies willing to take a chance on Colin Kaepernick before an NFL team will. They praised the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback for his efforts to end systematic oppression.
Kaepernick’s portion of the proceeds will go to support his work with his Know Your Rights Camp, the organization he founded that aims to educate and empower Black and Brown communities and cultivate a new generation of racial justice leaders.
The “Change the Whirled” non-dairy dessert fits Kaepernick’s vegan diet. Aside from a politically bitter aftertaste, the new flavor will be packed with a caramel non-dairy sunflower butter base with fudge chips, graham cracker swirls, and chocolate cookie swirls.
Kaepernick tweeted: “I’ve teamed up with @BenAndJerrys to serve up joy on the journey to justice! Today, we’re excited to introduce Change the Whirled, a new non-dairy flavor that hits shelves in early-2021! 100% of my proceeds will go to @yourrightscamp with matching support from Ben & Jerry’s.”
I’ve teamed up with @BenAndJerrys to serve up joy on the journey to justice!
Today, we're excited to introduce Change the Whirled, a new non-dairy flavor that hits shelves in early-2021!
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) December 10, 2020
The Vermont ice cream company is very progressive. In June, Ben & Jerry’s tweeted about defunding the police. They also wrote about it extensively on their website.
Defund the police, defend Black communities! This #Juneteenth, it’s more important than ever that we dismantle the racist and ineffective model of American policing. Learn more about how defunding the police works and why we so desperately need it: https://t.co/JLY6f0u5y3 pic.twitter.com/3UnML38dDx
— Ben & Jerry's (@benandjerrys) June 19, 2020
Other issues Ben & Jerry’s publicly supports are: GMO labeling, criminal justice reform, climate justice, LGBT equality, fair trade, peacebuilding, rBGH, democracy, getting the “dough” out of politics, and welcoming refugees.
In May, Ben & Jerry’s and Nike collaborated on a “Chunky Dunky” shoe, and the ice cream company donated proceeds to COVID-19 relief efforts by the Know Your Rights Camp. Both sides started discussing more collaborations as Ben & Jerry’s continues the activism it has become famous for utilizing.
“This isn’t another Justice Remix’d or Save Our Swirled, it’s like Americone Dream or Tonight Dough,” Jay Curley, global head of marketing for Ben & Jerry’s said. “This is a full-time flavor … delicious ice cream, with a joyful packaging that honors a man whose words and actions have love rooted in it. Do we expect this to change everyone’s mind? Of course not. But it can open up conversations and, to a degree, challenge people’s thinking and spread the actual message Colin is talking about and the work Know Your Rights Foundation is working on.”
Chris Miller, Ben & Jerry’s head of global activism strategy, said the collaboration will help change the culture.
“We can bring and add value to this movement because we speak to the general population, the mainstream, and we have a unique way of engaging our fans,” Miller said. “We can help continue the shift of sentiment on these issues. We’re fine with controversy. We can step into a place that perhaps diffuses some of that controversy.”