YETI Reportedly No Longer An NRA Vendor, RTIC Responds
UPDATE - The following is an official statement from YETI:
A few weeks ago, YETI® notified the NRA Foundation, as well as a number of other organizations, that we were eliminating a group of outdated discounting programs. When we notified the NRA Foundation and the other organizations of this change, YETI explained that we were offering them an alternative customization program broadly available to consumers and organizations, including the NRA Foundation. These facts directly contradict the inaccurate statement the NRA-ILA distributed on April 20.
Further, the NRA-ILA stated in that same public communication that “[YETI has] declined to continue helping America’s young people enjoy outdoor recreational activities.” Nothing is further from the truth. YETI was founded more than 10 years ago with a passion for the outdoors, and over the course of our history we have actively and enthusiastically supported hunters, anglers and the broader outdoor community. We have been devoted to and will continue to directly support causes tied to our passion for the outdoors, including by working with many organizations that promote conservation and management of wildlife resources and habitat restoration. From our website to our film footage and from our social media posts to our ambassadors, YETI has always prominently featured hunters pursuing their passions. Moreover, YETI is unwavering in our belief in and commitment to the Constitution of the United States and its Second Amendment.
Things are getting heated in cooler country.
On Friday, April 20, the NRA-ILA (National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action) issued a statement to NRA members reporting that Austin-based company YETI, which manufactures coolers, beverage tumblers, and a variety of outdoors products, has "declined to do business with" the pro-Second Amendment organization.
"For years YETI Coolers have been a hot item for sportsmen at the Friends of NRA Foundation Banquet and Auction events around the country," the statement by former NRA President Marion P. Hammer reads.
Hammer writes that the Foundation's banquet events raise money for youth organizations centered around providing resources and education for young outdoor enthusiast, as well as natural resource conservation. According to Hammer, YETI representatives have said they will no longer sell products to the NRA Foundation, which are usually popular items at fundraising events.
"Suddenly, without prior notice," Hammer writes, "YETI has declined to do business with The NRA Foundation saying they no longer wish to be an NRA vendor, and refused to say why. They will only say they will no longer sell products to The NRA Foundation. That certainly isn't sportsmanlike. In fact, YETI should be ashamed. They have declined to continue helping America's young people enjoy outdoor recreational activities. These activities enable them to appreciate America and enjoy our natural resources with wholesome and healthy outdoor recreational and educational programs."
Hammer concludes the statement with a link to YETI's Contact Us web page, as well as the address and phone number of their corporate office in Austin. (7601 Southwest Parkway Austin, TX 78735, 1-512-394-9384)
Responses from NRA members and pro-Second Amendment individuals soon began appearing on social media, with many threatening to boycott YETI and dispose of products they've already purchased from the company.
There's been no official response from YETI, though defenders of the brand have been circulating an image online claiming the company did not specifically target the NRA, but has "ended a wide range of legacy vendor programs, which affected a number of different organizations".
Fake news got people mad as hell, but yeti never dropped the NRA and their support for hunters, conservation and the 2nd Amendment is still as strong as it’s always been. @yeti is a great company so don’t believe everything you read. #supportyeti #yeti #hunterowned #2ndamendment A post shared by Adam Greentree (@adam.greentree) on
Whatever the truth of the matter, YETI's top rival, RTIC, was quick to respond with a simple image macro of the Second Amendment.