Editor’s Corner: Verizon's Vestberg gets emotional about racism

Kudos to Vestberg for his courage to speak out even when so uncomfortable. (Verizon)
Linda Hardesty editor's corner

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg was visibly upset and emotional as he announced a program today in which Verizon is committing $10 million to organizations that are dedicated to racial equality and social justice.

Verizon’s move follows on the events of the last several days in which protests have erupted in big cities across the United States in response to the death of George Floyd while in police custody.
As Vestberg made Verizon’s announcement via a video recording his voice shook and he was clearly upset about the current events.

I obviously don’t know what was going on in his mind. But Vestberg, who is Swedish, might have been thinking, “What the hell is wrong with Americans? Why are they still inflicting violence on people based solely on the color of their skin – especially those who supposedly vow to protect and serve?”

Kudos to Vestberg for his courage to speak out even when so uncomfortable.

“The events unfolding across the country that are rooted in hate are contradictory with our beliefs as a company and leave me with a feeling of regret and sadness,” he said. “Verizon is fiercely committed to diversity and inclusion across all spectrums because it makes us and the world better.”

The Verizon Foundation has committed $10 million to social justice organizations, shared equally between the National Urban League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Action Network, the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights, the Rainbow Push Coalition, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Others have joined the voices decrying the most recent example of racism.

Jon Freier, EVP of T-Mobile's Consumer Group, tweeted yesterday, “I won’t stay silent. I’m sickened beyond sickened tonight. I’m sickened as to how we arrived here.”

AT&T also posted a tweet yesterday, saying “At AT&T we stand for equality and embrace freedom."