Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Skater brands denounce gay-hating fans #toplovesall

A couple of young men from Western Quebec have drawn the ire of the social media shame machine for their violently anti-gay shirts and statements.

One of them (I won't repeat their names here) was photographed wearing a shirt with the name of his gamer group, along with the words "If you are gay, don't approch [sic] me I'll kill you," to a popular Halloween event in Ottawa. Once identified, the man and a friend spoke to media defending their group's message, even though it might be considered hate speech in Canada.

These guys don't deserve any more infamy than they're already getting, however local skater store Top Of The World's reaction is interesting from a branding point of view.

Recognizing RVCA and other subculture brands on the offenders, Top Of The World posted the above captioned picture with the words, "I'm sure you've seen these fellas in the news or on social media. If not check it out. We wanted to make ourselves clear when it comes to this kind of garbage. #ottawa #toplovesall"

In recent years, many brands have struggled with the polarizing issue of LGBT equality, such as in the pasta wars of 2013. But with gay rights in the mainstream consciousness, in more progressive parts of the world brands have more to gain (and less to lose) by being LGBT allies than in courting homophobic customers. 

Top Of The World and RVCA picked the smart side in this one.

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