Yesterday, Orvis posted the above letter on its Fly Fishing Page on Facebook.
There were over 1,500 posts in response. From a very rough count, I estimate that anti-Orvis posts were running about three to one over those thanking Orvis for their letter. I assume that’s to be expected: there’s always more energy in those upset about something and needing to vent their anger or frustration.
I will say that many of the negative comments lacked any effort at reasoned argument. They were mostly variations on: “stay out of politics”; “I don’t see any, so shut up”; “you’re anti-American”; and the resultant “I’m not buying any more of your gear.”
Apparently, many of the posters never heard of the First Amendment or have any experience with any racism in the USA. And Orvis has made political statements before that generated these types of responses; there were negative comments when they made a statement about climate change – and this is an outdoor company.
They knew the risks and went with their principles. I applaud Orvis – and I’ve bought plenty of their stuff, and will again.
But it is depressing to be given a view into the thinking of many of our fellow citizens across this land.