Most people who have been through high school are aware of the Kent State massacre. The incident occurred in 1970 in Kent, Ohio. Students all across the country were protesting the expansion of the Vietnam War, and the National Guard was at the Kent State campus. At one point during the protest, some guardsmen opened fire on protesters, killing four students and injuring nine others.
Urban Outfitters, a company known for offering offensive apparel at times, put what was described as a “vintage Kent State sweatshirt” for sale on its website for $129. According to the item description, Urban Outfitters only had one for sale and encouraged shoppers to “get it or regret it.”
Check out a picture of the offensive Kent State sweatshirt below.
— ABC 7 Chicago (@ABC7Chicago) September 15, 2014
As you can see from the photo, the sweatshirt appears to have blood spatters in the chest region, as well as other parts of the shirt. The blood-spattered shirt brought memories of the Kent State massacre to mind, and Urban Outfitters immediately came under fire after news of the shirt started going around.
The stunt pulled by Urban Outfitters regarding Kent State is absolutely outrageous. I am calling for a boycott until the shirt is pulled.
— Sen Jack Brandenburg (@JackBrandenbur1) September 15, 2014
That Kent sweatshirt @UrbanOutfitters is selling seriously makes me want to vomit. Disgusting and disrespectful.
— Shelbai (@shelbathor) September 15, 2014
The listing for the blood-spattered Kent State shirt has since been removed from the Urban Outfitters website. The company has issued an apology for the shirt and says that it was all a big misunderstanding. According to the apology, the shirt was part of Urban Outfitters’ sun-faded collection, and the red stains were never intentionally placed on the shirt.
Check out the apology below.
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
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.
This isn’t the first time Urban Outfitters has sold offensive clothing. The company once sold a shirt with Holocaust connotations and also sold Navajo hip flasks. Considering that this is at least the third time Urban Outfitters has crossed the line, many people aren’t too sure about the company’s apology.