Numerous brands, bike shops and industry veterans within the cycling industry have begun to throw their support behind protesters standing against racism following the death at the hands of police of George Floyd in the United States.
Instagram, among other platforms, are today awash with feed blackouts in recognition of a trend started within the music industry. This calls on those who support the protesters’ message to pause, reflect and talk about how society can move forwards with racism left in the past.
Cannondale is among those to have released a statement this morning, which reads: “We believe a bicycle should be a vehicle of freedom, independence and progress. So today we stand, committed to those values. We speak up so that racism has no place in our future. To empower our riders. To empower our employees. To empower each other.”
Trek Bikes president John Burke, who has been notoriously vocal about equality in the bicycle industry, today wrote a blog that further highlighted just how deep the inequality runs, sometimes even within our own industry.
“I’d like to share some of the ideas with you,” wrote Burke.
“Our political leaders in Washington seem to be creatively bankrupt when it comes to solving big problems like increasing opportunities for all. I would propose that we set the following national economic objectives to be achieved by the year 2030:
- Increase the share of income for the bottom 50% of wage earners in this country from the current 12% of pre-tax income to 20%.
- Cut wealth gap between white households and black households in half from 10-to-1 to 5-to-1.
- Give every kid in America the chance to succeed by reducing childhood poverty by 50%.”
Burke goes on to propose the introduction of a “War on Poverty act”, which calls for the increase to federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 per hour. He proposed to pay for the act’s introduction by scrapping the cap on Social Security as opposed to raising debt, encouraging those at the top of the ladder to share their success with those at the bottom.
“Six months from now, we will elect a president. Instead of dividing the American people with negative campaigns, wouldn’t it be nice to hear from both candidates on what specific, bold plans they have that would actually reduce inequality and racism in America?,” concludes Burke.
SRAM wrote to its Instagram on behalf of the group: “Bicycles should represent freedom. If all people can’t travel the streets safely without fear of discrimination and violence that freedom means nothing.
SRAM believes in inclusivity. What happened to George Floyd was a horrible and tragic injustice. We know we need to do more. We will be reflecting, listening and learning. We will look for ways to do better in our personal communities, with the cycling community and with the largest part of the population that is yet to become a cyclist.”
A consequence of the unrest has unfortunately seen numerous bike shops in the USA targeted by opportunist thieves. Those in the bike business are encouraged to keep an eye on resale channels used by thieves for bikes stolen from a number of shops.
The team at Cycling Industry News likewise stand in unity against racism in all forms and encourage our readers to voice any concerns they may have about its existence within our trade. It is likewise our mission to bring about greater equality and better working conditions for those working within our vibrant industry.