An Urban Outfitters sweatshirt that looks like it is spattered with blood and which bears the name of an Ohio university where four students were killed in 1970 during a peaceful protest was yanked from the controversial clothing store’s website after it went viral.
Urban Outfitters, which has its corporate offices in South Philly in the Navy Yard, has posted a statement denying that the shirt is meant to look like a bloody relic.
“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,” Urban Outfitters said on Twitter. “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.”
Only four other similar vintage sweatshirts are on Urban Outfitters’ website — for Bates College, Cathedral College, University of Texas and New Mexico University. All are in solid colors.
University of Texas was also the sight of a famed mass murder when Charles Whitman killed 16 people and wounded 32 others from the belltower at the center of campus in Austin, Texas, in 1961, before turning the gun on himself. Nothing in that shirt’s design alludes to the tragedy in Austin, which suggests that the Kent State sweatshirt may indeed have been mis-colored in an anomaly.
But Twitter users who found the sweatshirt offensive have begun to create their own imagined Urban Outfitters garments that would be equally or more offensive.
— luke oneil (@lukeoneil47) September 15, 2014
— chet (@chetprtr) September 15, 2014
— Pumpkin Spice MK (@CityofKlompton) September 15, 2014
Click the above tweet to see the satirical offensive clothes.
Urban Outfitters has in the past attracted negative attention for shirts that said things like “Depression” and “Eat Less,” as well as garments offensive to the Irish and the Navajo nation.