Calls To Boycott Kentucky Derby Picking Up Steam

July 21, 2020

Several organizations are calling for fans and companies to boycott the Kentucky Derby in the wake of Breonna Taylor’s death, as the investigation continues.

The echoes of a few groups are being heard loud and clear in the way of asking fans and companies that sponsor the Kentucky derby to turn their backs on the crown jewel of the Triple Crown.

The sentiment among these groups is “No Justice, No Kentucky Derby”. A group called Fighting For Justice has been contacting several sponsors that are synonymous with sponsoring the mega event year in and year out to opt out of supporting the Kentucky Derby.

Fighting For Justice is asking those to pull funding and sponsorship to the Kentucky Derby so that it can be used to donate to their group in an effort to assist in supporting their cause. Here is the letter being circulated on the boycott request.

To whom it may concern: 

As the rescheduled Kentucky Derby Festival approaches; It was brought to our attention that your company has decided to be a sponsor of the Kentucky Derby Festival events. 

Our state is known for the Kentucky Derby. It brings crowds of people together from all over the world to remember and celebrate our states horse racing heritage. But at the moment, our state is more widely associated with injustice. 

The state of Kentucky is currently in a state of unrest due to the killing of Breonna Taylor. She was an innocent young Black EMT woman that was killed in her home by Louisville Metro Police Department on March 13, 2020. The details surrounding this case are heartbreaking. They have inspired our local community and millions around the world to make a stand against injustice. It has been almost four months since Ms. Taylor was wrongfully killed and there has been very little released and/ or resolved. Millions worldwide have continued to patiently wait out the thorough investigation as requested by Daniel Cameron, the conducting Attorney General. But as a concerned community, our patience is running thin. 

As a community, we want to showcase to the country, the globe that we have not forgotten Breonna Taylor, that we do not agree with the injustices tied our cities name. We believe that putting on one of the largest festivals in the state is doing that. The Kentucky Derby Festival is being used to distract and sweep Breonna Taylor under the rug. We are asking you to reconsider your sponsorship. 

We understand that the Kentucky Derby may be a very beneficial collaboration for your company. We do not wish to hinder your company in any way but we believe right now is not the time for a celebration. 

Boycotting the Kentucky Derby and its events will put some much needed pressure on the state to complete the investigation and give the family, the local and worldwide community closure and most importantly justice for Breonna Taylor. 

If a complete removal of sponsorship is not feasible for your company at this point, please take a stand with us by publicly bringing our fight against injustices to the forefront. We encourage adding statements to your websites, visual or audio blurbs to your advertisements, as well as creating a blackout logo(a predominantly black and white color scheme)for all of your sponsorship placements. Also consider donating or hosting an event to support the cause. 

Until this issue is addressed and justice is served we will take a stand and not support the biggest monetary event in Kentucky. Our goal is not to forever cancel the Derby, we are just demanding answers and justice before we sip on mint juleps and put on our pretty hats. 

Please reconsider your sponsorship of the Kentucky Derby Events. We hope that with your support we can bring about swift reform and justice to our city. If we work together, we can really have something to celebrate as a whole community next year. Together let’s show the world that Kentucky will not stand for injustice. 

We ask again that you use your voice and sponsorship for the greater good this year. We urge your company to take a stand with the community in Boycotting the Kentucky Derby until we receive answers, reform and justice. 

“History has its eye on you”. 


Fighting for Justice 

The Justice and Freedom Coalition is also asking locals to boycott the derby as well. One of the coalition members, Tim Findley doesn’t believe it’s right that the show goes on in Louisville and that the local economy would be getting a financial boost during the current climate of inequality among the Black community as well as global pandemic.

Findley is also a pastor at Kingdom Fellowship Christian Life Center in Louisville. Will fans turn their backs on the fastest two minutes in sports or will the show go on? This remains to be seen. Even more interesting, how will the large companies that sponsor the Kentucky Derby respond. Organizers believe that putting financial pressure on the state of Kentucky will bring more attention and awareness to support the cause.

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