Rock Climber Loses Brand Sponsorships Over Cyber-Bullying Claims

Law Firm Newswire



New York, NY(Law Firm Newswire) June 26, 2018 – Professional rock climber Joe Kinder was dropped as a brand ambassador for two companies amid claims he engaged in cyber-bullying against a female athlete via social media. Outdoor company La Sportiva and climbing gear manufacturer Black Diamond both withdrew their sponsorships in response to the allegations.

“La Sportiva ambassadors agree to act professionally in all circumstances and at all times because their actions and words reflect on us as a brand,” La Sportiva said in a statement. “Due to recent events, we have chosen to end our relationship with Joe Kinder.”

Kinder admitted he owned a private Instagram account for the purpose of sharing “inside jokes and memes poking fun at people” with a small group of followers. He used the account to allegedly subject Sasha DiGiulian to cyber-bullying. DiGiulian is a professional rock climber with sponsorships such as Adidas and La Sportiva. The account was deleted following the cyber-bullying claims.

“Cyber-bullying through various social networking sites is an unfortunate development that has gained publicity recently. This case clearly shows that cyber-bullying allegations can have serious consequences on a person’s life, such as the power to harm one’s reputation,” commented Peter Brill, a New York criminal defense attorney with Brill Legal Group. “Certain types of online activities can even result in criminal charges. If you are facing such accusations, contact a knowledgeable attorney who can evaluate your case.”

DiGiulian accused Kinder of disparaging her body by posting a photo of an overweight woman and implying that it was her. The climber said the cyber-bullying had “crossed the line.” She wrote a lengthy Instagram post to address various instances over the years in which Kinder had ridiculed her on the social media platform. The post received over 9,000 “likes” and 900 comments.

DiGiulian said she decided to publicly share details about the cyber-bullying after she reached out to Kinder privately and asked him to stop, but he did not. Kinder subsequently posted an apology via Instagram.

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