Coca-Cola Supports Slavery

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Someone should do something about the human rights catastrophe that is the 2022 World Cup! Qatari authorities, for example, are reportedly using North Korean slave labor to build infrastructure in preparation for the event. If only someone would put enough pressure on them, maybe they would not use slaves.

It seems that no one in a position to do anything about this really cares about these slaves, though. FIFA certainly doesn't, and apparently neither do FIFA's corporate sponsors. They certainly have the clout to make FIFA make Qatar stop using slave labor, and yet they haven't done so.


One of those sponsors is Coca-Cola, which FIFA proudly lists as a 2014 World Cup Partner on this website, Partners ranking above Sponsors and National Supporters in the brand-affiliation hierarchy. In fact, calling Coca-Cola a sponsor, or even a Partner, probably undersells its ties to FIFA, which are so close and have lasted so long that they were a major plot point in a bizarre FIFA-sponsored propaganda movie released earlier this year. It's a relationship with mutual benefits. Coca-Cola is believed to pay tens of millions of dollars every year in exchange for FIFA doing things like formally calling its ranking of national teams The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking; in exchange, by its reckoning, Coca-Cola enjoys a status as the brand most associated with the world's most popular sporting event.

If they want the good that comes with that, they should take the bad. So remember: Coca-Cola supports FIFA, and FIFA supports slavery, which means that by the transitive property, Coca-Cola supports slavery. More or less every time you purchase a consumer product you become complicit in some horror of capitalism, so that whether or not you actually go out of your way to avoid Coca-Cola products just has to do with how strongly you feel about this one. Still, associating the Coca-Cola brand with slavery is literally the least you can do.


Photo via Getty