The Tennessee-based American Bicycle Group has announced it plans on changing the name of its gravel bikes and mountain bikes.
In an email, ABG CEO and president Peter Hurley indicated that this moniker may be connected with a 1920 lynching of an African American on election day in Ocoee, Florida, in addition to an arson event that destroyed an African American community.
While the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Riots may be relatively unknown, Hurley and ABG believes that this is a chapter of African American history that needs to be remembered through education.
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“All of our brands are about providing equal access to everyone, in sports and in life,” said Hurley. “In originally naming the bike ‘Ocoee,’ our focus was on enjoying and exploring the outdoors and adventure. We had no understanding or knowledge of any other potential meaning or historical reference to the word. Now that we are aware of what Ocoee can also mean, it will be changed. Our entire team supports racial equality and stands ready to create a new name that reflects our beliefs.”
The name Ocoee is a region near to the company’s headquarters in the mountains of eastern Tennessee.
ABG has indicated that they are in the process of selecting a new name for the bike brand, and it will research the historical background of potential names, in addition to performing due diligence for previous name registrations.
Ocoee customers who wish to swap out frame decals will be able to do so at no cost. Bikes that are currently in production will be branded with the new name.