Women’s Group Ramps Up Pressure on PepsiCo Over North Carolina Anti-LGBTQ Law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Monday, April 18, 2016
CONTACT:  Brett Abrams | 516-841-1105 | brett@unbendablemedia.com

Women’s Group Ramps Up Pressure on PepsiCo Over North Carolina Anti-LGBTQ Law

Online Ads on Sports Websites Call on PepsiCo to Pull Sponsorship of 2017 NBA All-Star Game Unless It Is Moved from Charlotte

NBA Owners, Led by Commissioner Adam Silver, Delay Decision on “Problematic” Anti-LGBTQ Law

NORTH CAROLINA — With more and more businesses leaving North Carolina in the wake of the State’s new draconian anti-LGBTQ law, a new push from UltraViolet, a national women’s advocacy organization, is ramping up pressure on PepsiCo, a major sponsor of the 2017 NBA All-Star Game, to pull its sponsorship of the event, if the NBA moves forward with its plan to keep the game in North Carolina.  On Friday, NBA owners led by Commissioner Adam Silver, called HB2 “problematic” but refused to move the game from Charlotte.

The online ad campaign, which will appear on ESPN.com, SportsIllustrated.com and other sports websites frequented by basketball fans started on April 16th and runs through May 15th.  The ads, which coincided with the start of the NBA playoffs this weekend, call on PepsiCo not to turn its back on LGBTQ basketball fans and urge the NBA to move the 2017 All-Star Game.

In addition to the online ad campaign, UltraViolet members have made hundreds of calls to PepsiCo’s corporate headquarters demanding the company speak out against HB2 and the NBA All-Star Games plan to remain in Charlotte.

“PepsiCo has been outspoken in their support of the LGBTQ community in the past, and with the NBA dragging it’s feet on how to react to HB2, now is the time for PepsiCo to make it clear that they stand with North Carolina’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and against this hateful and discriminatory law,” explained Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of UltraViolet.  “As a major sponsor of the 2017 All-Star Game, PepsiCo should be outspoken against attempts by the NBA to keep the game in North Carolina and we join with NBA fans around the country in urging PepsiCo to pull their sponsorship of the game until it is moved to a place that does not actively expose trans-individuals to discrimination, harassment and undermine their rights to use facilities that correspond with their gender identity.”

North Carolina’s new anti-LGBTQ law, passed in March, prevents transgender individuals from using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity, nullifies existing LGBTQ protections passed by North Carolina cities, and prevents the those cities from passing future anti-discrimination laws to protect LGBTQ individuals.  While Governor Pat McCrory has amended the law in the face of overwhelming public pressure, the law still leaves transgender individuals especially vulnerable to discrimination and harassment by forcing them to use bathrooms and facilities that do not correspond with their gender identity.

More than 44,000 UltraViolet members have signed on to the petition calling on the NBA to move the All-Star game in just the last two weeks.  With dozens of major companies like Paypal having already condemned North Carolina’s law and having moved to relocate new business ventures out of the State, the petition asks PepsiCo, a major sponsor of the 2017 All-Star game to join with thousands of people around the country and pressure the NBA to move the 2017 All-Star Game to a location that doesn’t have laws discriminating against LGBTQ individuals.

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