Urban Outfitters, a clothing company that is no stranger to controversy or products deemed so distasteful that even the writers of South Park may cringe, is back it again with a “vintage” blood-spattered Kent State sweatshirt.
This sweatshirt is apparently referencing the 1970 shooting of unarmed Kent State students by Ohio National Guard members. Four students were killed, nine wounded and one suffered permanent paralysis when the soldiers fired 67 rounds over 13 seconds into a crowd protesting the Vietnam War. It was this event that inspired Neil Young’s “Ohio”.
Urban Outfitter’s the same company that sold shirts that stated “eat less” marketed toward young girls, holocaust-invoking Jewish Star T-shirts, “Ghettopoly” board game, and even a T-shirt stating “Everyone Loves A Jewish Girl” surround by money — among literally an entire list of controversial and racist merchandise.
However, this “vintage” Kent State shirt — which was sold at $129 with the product description reading: “Washed soft and perfectly broken in, this vintage Kent State sweatshirt is cut in a loose, slouchy fit. Excellent vintage condition. We only have one, so get it or regret it!” — is now apparently sold out and taken down, due to swift public outcry shown on the Internet.
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
Either way, whether sold out or taken down outrightly, the shirt is no longer available on the site for purchase. But if you a search for the item, you can still find it listed on the website. It was originally listed as a one-off sale item, stating, “We only have one, so get it or regret it!” This shirt also appeared for sale on Ebay, bidding for $550, but seems to have since been removed there also.
Kent State issued a statement:
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.