Urban Outfitters has decided to put a spotlight on the 1970 Kent State shootings in the worst way possible. In a move that simply trivializes the shootings of college students, the company has added a “vintage-style sweatshirt” featuring the school’s logo with “decorative” blood splatters.
When people first saw this blood-splattered sweatshirt for sale, they hoped it was a prank or an internet hoax, but unfortunately this article of clothing exists. Outrage ensued following the news of Urban Outfitters offensive item. Additionally, the graphic t-shirt popped up on eBay for $2,500. The eBay listing has since been removed.
— Matthew J. Rosenberg (@MattJRosenberg) September 15, 2014
As reported by BuzzFeed, outrage quickly manifested on Twitter and exposed Urban Outfitters lack of sensitivity.
Can’t imagine buying clothes from a company that markets murder of student protestors at Kent State as “vintage” cc @UrbanOutfitters
— Mike Watson Frick (@mwfrick) September 15, 2014
Being from Northeast Ohio, very near to Kent State I find Urban Outfitters sweatshirt distasteful. I get what they were trying to do but…
— Normandy (@_BeeLee) September 15, 2014
— Erich Cannon (@erichcannon) September 15, 2014
Here’s a quick history lesson for those who aren’t familiar with the Kent State shootings. Back in 1970, four college students were killed while protesting the Vietnam War and nine others were injured. The National Guard fired 67 shots at the unarmed students, which resulted in a massive outcry and a huge student strike that happened throughout the United States in protest of the shootings.
Kent State officials decided to acknowledge this article of clothing with a statement.
“We take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit. This item is beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today.”
In response to the public shaming over the offensive Kent State sweatshirt, Urban Outfitters has apologized.
Urban Outfitters sincerely apologizes for any offense our Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt may have caused. It (cont) http://t.co/o3oKyPJFu8
— Urban Outfitters (@UrbanOutfitters) September 15, 2014
In full the statement reads as follows.
“Urban Outfitters sincerely apologizes for any offense our Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt may have caused. It was never our intention to allude to the tragic events that took place at Kent State in 1970 and we are extremely saddened that this item was perceived as such.
“The one-of-a-kind item was purchased as part of our sun-faded vintage collection. There is no blood on this shirt nor has this item been altered in any way. The red stains are discoloration from the original shade of the shirt and the holes are from natural wear and fray. Again, we deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively and we have removed it immediately from our website to avoid further upset.”
Is there sincerity in Urban Outfitters apology or are they trying to cover their tracks?
[Image via Twitter]