‘All wines matter.’ Former rugby player’s brand is under fire over 'tone deaf' tweet
- A new wine brand faced a storm on Twitter after it tweeted that "All Wines Matter" - an apparent reference to "All Lives Matter", the slogan used by those who oppose the Black Lives Matter movement.
- Black Lives Matter is the international human rights movement which campaigns against violence and systemic racism towards black people.
- The wine brand is promoted by a former rugby player, whose t-shirt brand called Patriot Apparel celebrates the apartheid defence force.
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A new wine brand owned by a former professional rugby player was forced to apologise after an outcry over a tweet that referenced Black Lives Matter, the international human rights movement which campaigns against violence and systemic racism towards black people.
“All wines matter,” La Boucher Wines tweeted, evidently referring to "All Lives Matter" a slogan used by critics of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The tweet sparked an outcry on social media:
This is not tongue in cheek. This is racist. Please apologize and delete. We expect much better.— Selfcare Queen (@miss_dhanusha) June 14, 2020
Totally tone death. Some simply don't have the capacity for social solidarity!— Mervin Grootboom (@MGrootboom) June 14, 2020
Well that's revolting— Khwezi Shange (@khwezi_shange) June 14, 2020
The wine business deleted the tweet and issued an apology, which still did not sit well with many:
But you see you aren’t sorry! You don’t even know why it is, what you said, that was so beyond tone deaf. Even your apology reeks of insincerity. You’re only sorry because of the outcry.— Wayne_Obie (@Wayne_Obie) June 14, 2020
It wasn’t “negatively perceived”; it was offensive and irresponsible from the get-go.— Gary Hartley (@GaryHartleySA) June 14, 2020
The South African wine industry has faced international criticism for the living and working conditions of farm workers, and in 2016, Danish supermarkets removed South African wines from their shelves after a documentary by Danish filmmaker Tom Heinemann revealed the plight of these workers.
The 36-year old Eddie "Kwagga" Boucher, who played rugby for Boland and the Griffons before retiring in 2012, is the face of La Boucher Wines in the Hemel & Aarde Valley near Hermanus.
The company's Facebook page had been deleted by Sunday evening.
Boucher's profile also describes him as an ambassador for Patriot Apparel, which has a range of t-shirts aimed at the Afrikaans and hunting community. Patriot celebrates "Weermag Woensdag" (Army Wednesday) and "Skiet Saterdag" (Shoot Saturday) on its social media accounts, with photos of the apartheid-era defence force.
Business Insider SA did not receive a response from Boucher's businesses in time for publication.
A week ago, the CEO of the international fitness brand CrossFit, Greg Glassman, was forced to resign after he tweeted "It's FLOYD-19" in response to the outcry over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for over 8 minutes.
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