A statement from Fred Perry clothing has disassociated the brand from the Proud Boys. The company said they discontinued their black and yellow polo shirts in the United States in 2019.
The September 2020 press release read in part, “It is incredibly frustrating that this group has appropriated our Black/Yellow/Yellow twin tipped shirt and subverted our Laurel Wreath to their own ends.”
Fred Perry Said Its Lawyers Are Working to Prevent ‘Unlawful’ Use of Their Brand
The Proud Boys now-deleted official Facebook page described the group as “Western chauvinists” who are “anti-political correctness, anti-racial guilt,” according to the Washington Post.
The statement went on to say that the company is working with its lawyers to prevent further “unlawful” use of their branding. The company reiterated its stance in discontinuing the sale of “the Black/Yellow/Yellow twin tipped shirt” in the United States and Canada until the company is “satisfied” that the association with the Proud Boys has ended.
Fred Perry Chairman John Flynn Deannoucned the Brand’s Association With the Proud Boys in 2017
In 2017, Fred Perry chairman John Flynn said via the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:
Fred was the son of a working-class socialist MP who became a world tennis champion at a time when tennis was an elitist sport. He started a business with a Jewish businessman from Eastern Europe. It’s a shame we even have to answer questions like this. No, we don’t support the ideals or the group that you speak of. It is counter to our beliefs and the people we work with.
The SPLC Says Fred Perry Is the ‘Favored’ Polo Shirt Brand of Racist Skinheads
The Outline’s Zoe Beery wrote about Fred Perry’s ties to right-wing politics through the years saying, “Paired with work boots and tight jeans, Perry’s designs for the tennis court became a subversive dig at English elitism.” An entry on the racist skinhead glossary section of the Southern Poverty Law Center refers to Fred Perry as being “Brand of polo shirt favored by skinheads.”
In May 2020, Multiple Twitter Users Sought to Boycott Fred Perry Over the Use of People of Color in an Ad Campaign
In May 2020, multiple Twitter users announced a boycott of Fred Perry clothing after an ad campaign featured people of color. One user wrote, “Get woke, go broke.” Journalist Will Black responded to the boycott on Twitter saying, “If only the racists losing their s*** over Fred Perry’s campaign knew the origin of skinhead culture – diverse London Brits influenced by Jamaican music and fashion. Far-right racist thugs came in and appropriated the style a decade later. They are ALWAYS slow off the mark.”
In 2017, New Balance sneakers were also tied to the alt-right.