NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Apparently a written apology was not enough. On Thursday, a group of Puerto Rican organizations, elected officials, activists, and community groups rallied outside of the Manhattan Beer Distributors’ building in the Bronx.
The cause of their anger? A commemorative 24-ounce Coors Light can that features the National Puerto Rican Day Parade logo.
Coors is sponsoring the 2014 parade and sent a letter of apology to the Harlem community group, Boricua’s for a Positive Image, the Daily News reported.
Activists told 1010 WINS reporter Eileen Lehpamer that the letter wasn’t enough.
“It is enough already that they have taken us Puerto Ricans down to the gutter,” said one demonstrator.
The can design had been approved by the National Puerto Rican Day Parade board, which consists mostly of Puerto Ricans. The move has prompted some to call for firings or resignations.
“We want the board President to be removed immediately,” Vincent Torres said.
Coors apologized for offending the community. It also announced that it would stop selling the controversial cans.
“We apologize if the graphic on our promotional packaging inadvertently offended you or any other members of the Puerto Rican community,” Coors spokesman Nehl Horton said in the company’s letter of apology. “It’s unfortunate that we have been caught in the middle of a disagreement between the Boricuas For a Positive Image and the National Puerto Rican Day Parade Board over the sale of promotional sponsorship to fund the parade.”
The National Puerto Rican Day Parade has denied the image was meant to represent the Puerto Rican flag or the parade’s logo.
In a statement to the Daily News on Wednesday, a spokesman for the parade said the artwork was “created exclusively by Coors Light for this campaign that integrates elements for the parade’s symbol.”
Coors told the Daily News it demonstrated its official alliance and support of the organization.
The parade is set for June 9.
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