The company on Thursday said it stopped production of the commemorative 24 oz. cans adorned with the Puerto Rico flag and the National Puerto Rican Day Parade logo, after outcries from a local community group.
Coors Chief Public Affairs Officer, Nehl Horton, said the company has sent a letter of apology to Harlem-based Boricuas for a Positive Image.
The group and local politicians voiced outrage this week over the cans after they started popping up in stores locally in time for the Puerto Rican Day Parade on June 9th.
Coors is a main sponsor of this year’s parade.
Horton said Coors Light is sorry “if the graphic on our promotional packaging inadvertently offended you or any other members of the Puerto Rican community.”
The recall and letter came before a planned protest on Friday against the beer can, outside of Manhattan Beer in the Bronx, which is Coors’ New York distribution company.
Vincent Torres, a community organizer with Boricuas for a Positive Image, said having the flag on a beer can was “an absolute insult to all Puerto Ricans.”
“The National Puerto Rican Day Parade’s irresponsibility in not only authorizing this campaign, but then dismissing the community’s response has been deeply disturbing,” said Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Mott Haven).
Parade organizers have denied the image was meant to represent the Puerto Rican flag or the parade’s logo even though this year’s parade theme is “Celebrating Your Health.”
The National Puerto Rican Day Parade, (NPRDP) takes place annually along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, on the second Sunday in June, in honor of the nearly 4 million inhabitants of Puerto Rico and over 4 million people of Puerto Rican birth or heritage residing in the United States.
Originally, the Desfile Puertorriqueño, Inc., the first parade was held on Sunday, April 13, 1958, in Spanish Harlem.