Monday, April 22, 2013

Nike forced to remove 'Boston Massacre' T-shirts after complaints

Nike has been been forced to drop T-shirts emblazoned with the words "Boston Massacre" after an uproar over their insensitivity in the wake of the city's bombings.

The shirts, worn by New York Yankees fans, show blood-splattered lettering — a reference to when the team overcame a 14-game deficit and beat the Boston Red Sox before winning the World Series in 1978.

The garments in question were brought to Nike's attention when Eric Stangel, an executive producer and writer for the Late Show with David Letterman, tweeted an image of the shirt.

"Saw this @ Nike Outlet," Stangel, who lives in New York, wrote on Saturday. "Told them they shouldn't be selling it."

Stangel, in another tweet, said that a staff member responded: "We've been taking them down. But somehow they keep ending up back on the rack."

It’s not the first time Nike has felt the need to pull a product in the wake of a tragedy.  In February the  retailer pulled an ad featuring Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius with the caption “I am the bullet in the chamber,” after he was charged with shooting to death girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

"Who thought that was a good idea?" one angry follower tweeted, while another said: "Rip off the rack!"

Many others questioned the point of the t-shirt before the even massacre occurred.

Among the responses on Twitter, Stangel also heard from a representative from Nike, Heidi Burgett, according to MailOnline.

"Thank you Eric," she wrote. "We took action earlier this week to remove the shirts. We are immediately on it again thanks to your tweet."

MailOnline has requested further comment from Nike, but they have yet to respond.

As all third grade history students know, the name "Boston Massacre" was originally used to describe an attack by the British Army in 1770, in an incident which left five civilian men dead and six injured.

The phrase was later adopted by baseball fans to refer to the series between the Red Sox and the Yankees in 1978, when the Yankees battled back from a 14-game deficit to catch up to the Sox.

After winning a one-game playoff against the Boston team, the Yankees played the Los Angeles Dodgers and won the World Series.

This controversy comes only weeks after Adidas, another athletic gear supplier, was criticized for selling "RI5E to the Occasion" T-shirts in what was presumed to be an attempt to profit off of the University of Louisville's Kevin Ware's gruesome leg injury during the NCAA tournament. The company finally stopped selling the $25 shirts.

Boston is still recovering from a horrific week of terror following the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, which left three dead and more than 180 people injured, before a police lockdown shut down the city while chasing the fugitive bombers.

One suspected bomber was later killed in a police shoot out, while the second, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is recovering in hospital with a throat wound after apparently trying to kill himself.

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