Urban Outfitters has had a lot of controversial outfits over the years but their latest fashion faux pas crossed a line that even the most brainless CEO with the least amount of common sense could have released was over the line. Unless, of course, that CEO happens to work for Urban Outfitters. This time, they offered a Kent State University sweatshirt covered in fake blood.
The shirt clearly refers to the deadly shootings that took place on the Kent State campus in Ohio in 1970. National Guard troops were deployed to the campus in response to a crowd of protestors. The troops ordered the crowd to disperse and lobbed cans of tear gas into the crowds. A struggle ensued between the crowd of students and troops when one of the Guardsmen opened fire. Four students were killed by gunfire and eight others were wounded. If you’re still not sure why Urban Outfitters’ product was inappropriate by now, then you need to get your head examined, you should get your reading comprehension checked or you work for Urban Outfitters.
Pictures of the shirt went viral on Twitter and Kent State officials issued a statement saying that they “take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit.” Urban Outfitters removed the item from its store. The shirt was also being offered on eBay for a starting bid of $500, but it also has since been removed from the auction website.
Which is all very nice, but it seems that Kent States still feels compelled to explain exactly why it’s too soon to sell a bloody Kent State sweatshirt. Check out the official statement, and let’s hope a grown-up reads this to Urban Outfitters…
May 4, 1970, was a watershed moment for the country and especially the Kent State family. We lost four students that day while nine others were wounded and countless others were changed forever.
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.
We invite the leaders of this company as well as anyone who invested in this item to tour our May 4 Visitors Center, which opened two year ago, to gain perspective on what happened 44 years ago and apply its meaning to the future.