Yeti Releases Statement on NRA, But NRA Isn't Buying It


Yeti has been taking plenty of heat from supporters of the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment since Friday’s revelation that the company was no longer a business partner of the NRA.

Now the maker of popular high-end coolers and outdoor gear says the NRA Federation’s statement about the termination of their partnership was “inaccurate” and says the company remains “unwavering” in its support for the Second Amendment.

“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ago, Yeti notified the NRA Foundation, as well as a number of other organizations, that we were eliminating a group of outdated discounting programs,” Yeti said Monday in a statement.  “When we notified the NRA Foundation and the other organizations about 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) distributed on April 20.

“Further, the (NRA) 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.

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“Moreover, Yeti is unwavering in our belief in and commitment to the Constitution of the United States and its Second Amendment.”

Yeti may still support the Second Amendment, but a former NRA president says it clearly does not want to be affiliated with the NRA.

Marion Hammer, former NRA president and current executive director of Unified Sportsmen of Florida, claims in an email to Brietbart that Yeti isn’t being totally up front with its explanation. She says this is much more than just converting one corporate discount plan to another.

“In early March, Yeti refused to place a previously negotiated order from NRA-ILA, citing ‘recent events’ as the reason – a clear reference to the tragedy in Parkland, Florida,” said Hammer, who announced the end of Yeti’s NRA agreement on Friday. “Yeti then delivered notice to the NRA Foundation that it was terminating a 7-year agreement and demanded that the NRA remove the Yeti name and logo from all NRA digital assets, as well as refrain from using any Yeti trademarks in future print material.

Does Yeti cutting ties with the NRA influence your decision to purchase its products?

“While Yeti is trying to spin the story otherwise, those are the facts. While Yeti can choose to run from the NRA, they can’t run from the facts.”

Yeti may be doing more than attempting to give its side of the story. The company has faced a strong backlash from customers who believe Yeti has bowed to pressure from anti-gun activists who have put pressure on dozens of companies to terminate their business deals with the NRA.

Criticism of Yeti, as well as calls for a boycott of Yeti products, began on social media almost immediately after Hammer announced the end of Yeti’s partnership with the organization.

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In the days since the controversy began, Yeti’s competitors have been quick to express their support of the NRA and have tried to lure Yeti’s customers to their brands.

Pelican Coolers, a Virginia-based distributor for Pelican Products, announced Monday via its Facebook page that for every cooler the company sells in April, a $10 donation will be made to the NRA.

Cliff Walker, owner and CEO of Orca Coolers, went on Facebook Monday to say his company will always support the Second Amendment, and his company will offer a 20 percent discount on cooler purchases through the end of the month.

“Our roots have always been with the outdoor industry — hunting, fishing, camping and enjoying our tailgates at sporting events,” Walker wrote. “Rest assured, we will continue to support our customers, our constitution and our great country.”

RTIC Coolers made no mention of Yeti, but it was clearly referencing the perceived message of Yeti’s decision by placing an image of the text contained in the Second Amendment on its Facebook page.

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Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. A native of Milwaukee, he currently resides in Phoenix.
Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. He has more than 20 years of experience in print and broadcast journalism. A native of Milwaukee, he has resided in Phoenix since 2012.
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