Let’s get this straight, I think Goya’s Roberto Clemente statue in Roberto Clemente State Park is amazing. However, I do echo the views of other New York boricuas who were the first ones to post their concerns on social media and blogs.
This public statue looks like an ad for Goya.
The company said that the statue “was not done as a marketing or sales campaign for Goya,” but did they have to display such a large recognizable logo? Wouldn’t a sentence like “Funding provided by Goya” without a logo been a bit more understated and dignified?
This is not about bashing the company nor trying to divide the community, as a small group of critics describe our online petition. Readers shared with our site Latino Rebels that the placement of the logo lessened the emotional experience of such a moving memorial.
GOYA’s response inside related article: Does Goya logo overshadow the statue honoring Roberto Clemente?
When we pointed out a factual error on the statue and Goya graciously told us it was getting fixed, then the question is: why not take into consideration the suggestions to make the logo less prominent? Is this not a statue about Clemente’s legacy? Would Goya agree that being a bit more understated for this one specific example is the way to go? Those are the questions we still have, and I plan to ask them when I meet with Goya next week.
I understand 100% that Clemente has a long-standing relationship with Goya, and I also know that Goya’s contributions to the community for over seven decades have been outstanding. Very few companies conjure up positive images of family, culture and identity. Goya is definitely one of those companies. However, my opinion —as well as that of others— about a public billboard statue remains unchanged. We don’t hate Goya for doing this, in fact, we all share a love of the company. Why does Goya feel that their very visible recognition is merited here? Leave the branding to food products. Use simple words and humility to honor Clemente.
Granted, Goya has every right to do what they want, since they donated the funds for the statue to become a reality. What they did was done with the best of intentions. No one is questioning Goya’s admiration for Clemente. But as visitors to the park, many of us just wonder why. Why there? Why this statue?
Like a friend of mine told me this week: “I came to the conclusion that it bothers me due to the extreme humility Clemente showed in life. A compassion for humanity that actually led directly to his death. And to see this Latino company that I’ve supported since a child and will support today when I hit the supermarket completely miss the point of that humility bothers me. It simply comes across as a commercial as opposed to a memorial. It feels cheap.”
I hope Goya is open to discussing this matter, and I look forward to speaking with them next week.
Julio Ricardo Varela (@julito77 ) founded LatinoRebels.com in May, 2011 and proceeded to open it up to about 20 like-minded Rebeldes. His personal blog, juliorvarela.com, has been active since 2008 and is widely read in Puerto Rico and beyond. In the past 12 months, Julito represented the Rebeldes on Face the Nation, NPR, Univision, Forbes, and The New York Times.