Harley-Davidson cuts ties with dealership over racist posts

National
Harley Davidson production switch
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Harley-Davidson said it is pulling its Facebook ads for the month of July and severing ties with a Tennessee dealership whose owner was accused of posting racist comments on social media disparaging Black Lives Matter protesters.

The post was allegedly made on the Facebook page of Abernathy’s Cycles, a Union City, Tennessee, motorcycle and ATV dealership, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Thursday.

“I’m sick of this black lives matter,” read the post, which also called for Black people to go “back to Africa and stay.”

The dealership’s owner, Russell Abernathy II, told Jackson, Tennessee TV station WBBJ that he did not make the posts and that his account was hacked.

“The derogatory nature of the comment in no way aligns with my personal beliefs or that of Harley-Davidson Motor Co. It personally saddens me that this post has caused such wide-reaching pain to those that have already been subject to so many social injustices,” he wrote in a statement posted on the company’s website.

The Associated Press reached out to Abernathy for comment on Thursday. He did not answer any phone calls.

Harley Davidson Inc., headquartered in Milwaukee, said on Wednesday that the Tennessee company would no longer be part of its dealer network.

“Racism, hate or intolerance have no place in the Harley-Davidson community or anywhere – in person or online. We are pausing our Facebook ads in July to stand in support of efforts to stop the spread of hateful comment,” Harley said on its website.

More than 500 companies that officially kicked off an advertising boycott Wednesday intended to pressure Facebook into taking a stronger stand against hate speech.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Coronavirus News

More Coronavirus

Trending Stories

Your Local Election HQ

More Election

Local Sports

Denmark outlasts Little Chute, Fox Cities Stars girls cruise past Storm

Phoenix complete sweep of Purdue Fort Wayne

Freedom boys take control of NEC top spot, Seymour stays in Bay race

Green Bay Nation: NFC Championship Picks

Green Bay Nation: NFC Championship Challenge or No Challenge

Green Bay Nation: NFC Championship Top 5 Tweets