Ben & Jerry's New Colin Kaepernick Ice Cream Has People Talking

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick doesn't tread lightly when it comes to social justice. Neither does Ben & Jerry's. The Vermont ice-cream maker posted a statement online earlier this year, calling the death of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer a murder. When Kaepernick was kneeling during the national anthem before football games four years ago, he was calling for reforms in the criminal justice system. Today, he has taken his stance much further, arguing in a recent essay that police and prisons should be abolished altogether (via LEVEL). "Despite the steady cascade of anti-Black violence across this country, I am hopeful we can build a future that imagines justice differently. A future without the terror of policing and prisons," Kaepernick wrote.

The partnership, announced December 10, between Kaepernick and Ben & Jerry's on a vegan ice cream makes a lot of sense given their political similarities. Of course, the collaboration isn't just a political statement. It's also a new flavor of frozen dessert. Change the Whirled consists of a caramel base made with sunflower butter, fudge chips, graham cracker swirls, and chocolate cookie swirls.

As you might expect, reactions to the announcement on social media have been intense. People are either applauding what Colin Kaepernick's Change The Whirled frozen dessert stands for, or they're ready to boycott Ben & Jerry's while taking a few jabs at Kapernick.

Kaepernick's proceeds from the new flavor go to his youth camp

One conversation on Twitter was less about politics and more about how Ben & Jerry's and Kaepernick missed an opportunity with their name choice. One user wanted to know, "Why isn't this named Fudge the Police?" — after the NWA rap anthem with a slightly different name. (Ben & Jerry's already has a flavor called Chip Happens, so why not?)

Many of the social media comments took one side or the other on the issues of policing and racial justice. Some commenters who support policing in its current form called for a boycott of Ben & Jerry's. Or, as one person put it on Facebook, "Defund Ben & Jerry's." Another user tweeted with sarcasm, "...I'm glad they went with non-dairy. This way it tastes like the essence of Kaepernick's career: failure."

Other commenters praised Kaepernick and Ben & Jerry's for taking a stand. A military veteran tweeted, "Sir — I'd #TakeAKnee with you any time. Any place. Oh, and buy your Change the Whirled when it's out."

It's a free country, so you can choose to buy Change the Whirled, or not, when it hits stores in 2021. Be sure to bring between $4.99 and $5.49. Kaepernick's share of the proceeds go to his Know Your Rights camp for youth, while the rest goes to Ben & Jerry's. After all, it's also a capitalist country.