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The Burton Snowboard Company in Vermont, an international leader in the sport industry, recently unveiled its “Promo” line of snowboards, featuring graphic images of self-mutilation. NAMI is protesting the company’s insensitivity to public health concerns.
For people living with mental illnesses, self-injury unfortunately sometimes is a means of coping with severe emotional stress. Physical injury becomes a surrogate for emotional pain. The Burton images reinforce impulses toward such violence and essentially trivializes them.
Spectrum Youth & Family Services in Vermont, which provides housing and services to homeless, foster and at-risk youth, has protested the toxic snowboards by suspending its participation in Burton’s “Chill” program —which provides free snowboarding lessons to disadvantaged youth in cities around the country. Chill’s mission? “To build self-esteem.”
In a newspaper article , Spectrum’s executive director objected also to a Burton snowboard line that features Playboy models, which is being protested by other groups: “I think I have the right to get on a [chairlift] this winter with my 5-year-old and not have him subjected to any of these scenes…I think I have the right not to have my son ask me, ‘Daddy, why is there a picture of someone’s naked bottom on that snowboard? Why is there a picture of a bloody hand all over that snowboard?’”
Please send Burton a message:
Mr. Laurent Potdevin, CEO
Burton Snowboard Company
80 Industrial Parkway
Burlington, VT 05401
StigmaBusters involved in youth-oriented programs are especially encouraged to contact Burton’s Chill Program to emphasize that the Primo line is a black-eye to the good the company tries to do. They are at risk of losing goodwill and credibility.
Burton Snowboard Company
Director of Chill Program
Because of the large number of StigmaBuster messages received each month, not every one can be answered individually, however, we appreciate every e-mail and do review every stigma report, prioritizing them for action. We also appreciate receiving copies of responses. They are important in helping to coordinate strategy and pursue genuine dialogue. You are our eyes and ears! Your help makes a difference! Please send reports of stigma to Stella March .