National Puerto Rican Day Parade Board Responds (Again) to Oscar López Rivera Controversy

May 23, 2017
7:03 PM

On Monday, the National Puerto Rican Day Parade’s board of directors issued a statement in response to the news that Goya Foods and other organizations were not participating in the 2017 parade on June 11. After that statement was published, news broke on Tuesday that JetBlue, the New York Yankees, AT&T and Coca-Cola had also all agreed to not participate in the June 11 parade. In response to this latest news, the parade board issued the following statement on Tuesday afternoon:

While we are saddened and disappointed by certain sponsors pulling out of our Parade, we respect their views and decision to do so. Equally, we respect our Parade’s mission and commitment to inclusiveness, and the responsibility of representing the broadest possible blend voices that make up the Puerto Rican community.

While we cannot predict whether other sponsors and/or organizations might choose not to join us on Fifth Avenue this year, we expect they will do so with the same level of responsibility and professionalism as JetBlue and the Yankees. This community deserves no less. We thank the thousands of individuals, elected officials and community leaders who have expressed their support for the Parade, its 2017 honoree roster, and its commitment to raise awareness about the issues that impact Puerto Ricans across the world, even if some issues might spark a conversation.

The Board of Directors of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade

As of tonight, the parade’s sponsor page no longer lists any sponsors on its site:

On May 15, the parade listed several sponsors, although this does mean that all these sponsors have dropped out, just the ones who have gone on record:

Depending on who you ask, the loss of sponsorships is seen as an opportunity for the parade to go back to its community roots and not rely on corporate or commercial money.

Yet at the same time, as we discussed in this week’s Latino Rebels Radio, it’s complicated: