September 15, 2014 12:09 pm
Updated: September 15, 2014 12:38 pm

Urban Outfitters apologizes for blood-stained Kent State shirt

American retailer Urban Outfitters apologized Monday for selling what appears to be a fake-blood-stained "one-of-a-kind Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt."

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TORONTO – American retailer Urban Outfitters apologized Monday for selling what appears to be a fake-blood-stained “one-of-a-kind Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt.”

“Urban Outfitters sincerely apologizes for any offense our Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt may have caused,” the clothing store tweeted. “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.”

On May 4, 1970 four students were killed and nine others were injured when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a group of unarmed students at Kent State University in Ohio.

In a May 4, 1970 file photo, a group of students cluster around a wounded person as Ohio National Guardsmen, wearing gas masks, hold their weapons in the background, on Kent State University campus in Kent, Ohio. AP Photo/Douglas Moore


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“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,” the company said.

The shirt was sold as part of Urban Outfitters’ “sun-faded vintage collection.” A description on the company’s website read: “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!”

The university released a statement calling the sweatshirt “beyond poor taste.”

“We take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit. This item … trivializes a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today,” the statement reads.

According the Urban Outfitters website, the shirt has been sold.

Social media reaction:

This isn’t the first time a popular clothing retailer has been forced to apologize this year.

In August, Spanish clothing retailer Zara pulled a striped shirt featuring a yellow star from its shelves after social media users compared the shirt to clothing worn by Jewish prisoners in concentration camps during the WWII.

The blue-and-white striped shirt aimed at children aged three months to three years old featured a six-point yellow star on the front left side. The star had the word “sheriff” on it, but was not clearly visible on the clothing chain’s website.

-with a file from Andrew Russell

© 2014 Shaw Media

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