Harley-Davidson Inc. has temporarily pulled its Facebook ads and severed ties with one of its dealerships in response to hateful comments made on social media.
The moves came after a racist post was allegedly made on the Facebook page of a Tennessee motorcycle and ATV dealership. Screen shots, shared on social media, showed it said, “I’m sick of this black lives matter,” and those involved in the protests should go “back to Africa and stay.”
Harley responded by severing ties with the dealership, Abernathy’s Cycle in Union City, Tennessee. and Wednesday said Abernathy’s “will no longer be part of our 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.
Dealership owner Russell Abernathy II denied making the Facebook post and said he rejected its content.
“And by extension, Abernathy’s Harley-Davidson have and always will be welcoming to all riders regardless of race. 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. I vow to make certain that Abernathy’s Harley-Davidson provides a positive environment of diversity, equality and inclusion for all,” the dealership now says on its website.