Coors from the Klan?

Someone in my office building today told me that they do not drink Coors at their baseball games because someone on their team claims Coors is founded/owned/whatever by someone in the KKK, and they don’t want to support a company that is or ever was once owned by a racist…

What’s the scoop?

Adolph Coors and the Coors family are fairly right-wing in their politics, but they don’t have any connection to the KKK that I know of.

Coors was widely known in Union circles as a scab beer.

In 1977, workers at the Coors Brewery in Golden, CO went on strike, protesting human rights violations and unequal hiring practices. Part of the problem was that applicants were required to take a polygraph before being hired, and the questions were somewhat unusual.

Adolph Coors, III had been kidnapped and killed by his captors in 1960, so the family-owned brewery had adopted some pretty unusual hiring practices, of which the polygraphs were a part.

In 1978, the Coors workers–many of them re-hired union workers–actually voted the union out of the brewery, a boycott which lasted until 1987. During the union boycott, Coors was derided as a “scab beer” by unionists, i.e. a product from a company that does not support unions.

I wouldn’t be suprised if the story has since mutated into other such stories. The most important part of the message remains, “don’t drink it.”

I have my own reasons for not drinking Coors.

Articles such as Penn. State helped to push the connection. This was published in the Penn State College newspaper in 1995.

A spokesperson for Coors replied here to the article, but didn’t seem to be able to acquit Coors very well. Maybe just my opinion.

I can’t figure out why I can’t condense that second link. I have tried everything.

samclem, you must put the URL in quotes if you want to use more than one in a message.

Joe Coors founded the Heritage Foundation, a pretty right-wing lobby group.

Thanks, Larry.

Coors rebuttal is the link that was long.

The Coors family has been very right wing for a long time. Their views on abortion have gotten them excoriated, boycotted, maligned and sued over the years. Any group that disagrees with thier agenda will try to find a way to harm their sales.

If any member of the Coors family is a member of the KKK noone in Denver knows it. I worked for Coors as thier insurance broker for 3 years. Never heard about the KKK connection. I will say though that there was a lot of clan in Denver way back when. Hard to imagine it now since the city is about 6% black.

Coors apparently supported (or supported people who supported) South Africa’s Apartheid Regiem.
As well, Coors family members were involved in organizations that required fraternizing with KKK front groups.
As for not drinking it… the best reason is that it is piss water beer

“Company X is owned by/associated with the KKK” is a very common urban legend. Snopes has done a lot of debunking of this kind of thing, but they haven’t taken up Coors yet. Partial list of companies or brands supposed to be KKK-kontrolled:

Marlboro cigarettes
Kool cigarettes
Camel cigarettes
Troop clothing
Crown air fresheners
Tropical Fantasy soda
Church’s Fried Chicken
Cracker Barrel Restaurants. (Get it? Cracker Barrel).

You have to know the history of the KKK. They were probably more violently against immigrants to the US in the teens and twenties than they were against “the negroes.”

This, of course, may not relate to the Coors family.

I only wanted to state that the Klan was always an equal opportunity hate-filled, biggoted, organization.

A few years back, Coors were the main sponsor of Chelsea Football Club here in the UK (the company logo featured on the team’s shirts, it was the official beer sold at the stadium, etc etc). It always seemed to me all too appropriate for a team that had a reputation for right-wing and racists supporters. However, one fan (of Indian extraction) wrote this article about his relief when the sponsorship ended. For those that don’t know, Ruud Gullit was a player for (and then manager of) the team. He is Dutch and of mixed race.

This article also appeared in The Observer newspaper, commenting on the emparassment the company had when it emerged that one of its directors came out as gay.

I have no use for the Coors family and their right-wing politics (some place to the right of Herman Goering), but in all my years of going head to head with them, the brewery and their foundations, I have never come across any tie between them and the KKK nor with a KKK front group.

It may be a covert connection but really, at least coming from a long-time perspective, subtle is not one of the Coors family charms.