Nolte: Anheuser-Busch Cancels Carson King over High School Tweet

Carson King, 23, an Iowa State Cyclones fan who asked for beer money on national television, is making a huge difference with the funds he received.
@CarsonKing2/Twitter

Carson King raised over one-million dollars for a children’s hospital and has now been canceled by Anheuser-Busch over something he tweeted as a high school sophomore.

Less than two weeks ago, King was a hero after he turned a moment of fleeting fame into a movement that raised over $1.14 million for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

On September 13, King, who is now 24, was featured on ESPN College Game Day holding a sign that read “Busch Light supply need replenished. Venmo Carson-King-25.” The national attention resulted in donors from all over contributing money to King’s Venmo account.

Rather than keep the money, King said he would donate it to the children’s hospital. This is when Anheuser-Busch and Venmo agreed to match his donation.

So here’s a young man turning a goof that could have personally enriched him into a legitimately good thing…

Enter the media.

Specifically the Des Moines Register.

For whatever sadistic reason, the Register decided to do a “background check” of a private citizen thrust into the national spotlight and, lo and behold, what they uncovered were a couple of racially-insensitive tweets King fired off when he was 16, when he was still a sophomore in high school.

The paper contacted King to tell him they were going to run with the story. Obviously worried about his reputation, King tried to get ahead of the scandal by releasing the following statement:

It was just 10 days ago that I was a guy in the crowd holding a sign looking for beer money on ESPN Game Day.

Since then – so much has happened. Especially when I announced all of the money would be donated to the Stead Family Children’s Hospital in Iowa City.

Thousands of people have donated and today the account is at 1.14 million dollars. Much of this has happened thanks to social media – it has the power to bring people together for a common good.

It also can make your life very public.

And that is why I wanted to share with you that eight years ago – when I was a sophomore in high school, I made some social media posts with my friends that quoted and referenced the show Tosh.0.

One of those posts was brought to my attention by a member of the media today. I had no recollection of it. In re-reading it today – eight years later – I see it was an attempt at humor that was offensive and hurtful.

I am so embarrassed and stunned to reflect on what I thought was funny when I was 16 years old. I want to sincerely apologize.

Thankfully, high school kids grow up and hopefully become responsible and caring adults. I think my feelings are better summed up by a post from just 3 years ago:

“Until we as a people learn that racism and hate are learned behaviors, we won’t get rid of it. Tolerance towards others is the first step.” — July 8, 2016

I am sharing this information tonight because I feel a responsibility to all of the people who have donated money.

I cannot go back and change what I posted when I was a 16-year-old. I can apologize and work to improve every day and make a meaningful difference in people’s lives.

And, I am so very thankful for the generosity of the thousands of people who have donated to our fundraising push for the Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

Apparently the tweets, which are no longer available, compared black people to gorillas.

The ever-gracious King later released a statement saying he was not angry at the Des Moines Register. King continued:

The Des Moines Register has been nothing but kind in all of their coverage, and I appreciate the reporter pointing out the post to me. I want everyone to understand that this was my decision to publicly address the posts and apologize. I believe that is the right thing to do.

Almost immediately, those profiles in courage at Anheuser-Busch cut all ties with King. The company says it will still match his contribution. King says he will still donate the money.

Here’s the statement from the beer company:

Carson King had multiple social media posts that do not align with our values as a brand or as a company and we will have no further association with him. We are honoring our commitment by donating more than $350,000 to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

And then, in a fascinating turn of events that personifies our unforgiving Woke Culture, after the Register piece ran, the Internet dug up a number of offensive tweets published by the same reporter, Aaron Calvin, who dug up King’s tweets.

Calvin has now locked up his Twitter account and the Register says it is aware of the tweets and is looking into them.

One of Calvin’s tweets from 2012 reads, “Can I be a guest instructor at your theater camp teaching the kids how to abuse substances and ‘turn tricks.’”

A tweet from 2013 says, “I want to grow up and read sex stories to high school students.”

According to Twitchy, one of Calvin’s 2011 tweets uses the word “niggas.”

Welcome to the future, y’all…

Anything King might have tweeted after he became a legal adult… Fine. If you must… Fine. Let’s not forget we are talking about an everyday guy guilty of doing nothing more than turning a joke at a sporting event into an objectively good thing, but… Fine.

But now we live in a world where your juvenile criminal record is expunged, but not your juvenile tweets, which means a whole lot of good people who made some dumb mistakes as minors (as we all have) are going to see their reputations burnt to the ground in this unforgiving, witch-hunt culture of ours.

And nothing can be done about it, because there is no way to turn the Twitter Fascists and Virtue Signalers into decent human beings, and there’s no way to inject a spine or sense of decency into big companies like Anheuser-Busch. 

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.

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