Lewis Diuguid

Disrespectful T-shirt wisely pulled by retailer

An Under Armour Inc. store stands at The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass in Simpsonville, Ky. Under Armour Inc. had to apologize for a T-shirt that depicted basketball players raising a hoop in the style of the Marine Corps War Memorial.
An Under Armour Inc. store stands at The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass in Simpsonville, Ky. Under Armour Inc. had to apologize for a T-shirt that depicted basketball players raising a hoop in the style of the Marine Corps War Memorial. Bloomberg

People in marketing and advertising have long married music and historic events to products and services to better sell them to Americans.

New generations seem to be especially taken with the advertising combos. But one of these days the Madison Avenue folks will learn that some American icons should never be hijacked for marketing purposes.

Under Armour Inc. is the latest to apologize. It produced a T-shirt that showed basketball players raising a hoop in the fashion of the Marine Corps War Memorial. Officials at the company said they didn’t intend to offend military veterans and service members.

But they did. Basketball is a game. Americans depicted in the memorial and the photo that it is based on gave their lives in service to this country.

The shirt is called “Band of Baller” like band of brothers. It resembles the iconic photograph of U.S. soldiers, raising the American flag on the Japanese island of Iwo Jima during World War II. The image is the basis of the Marines’ memorial.

The product was criticized online for being disrespectful. That’s because it was.

Under Armour, based in Baltimore, said: “We deeply regret and apologize that a T-shirt that was not reflective of our values in honoring and supporting our country’s heroes went on sale. We have taken immediate action to remove it from retail and will take great measures to ensure this does not happen again.”

Let’s hope so.

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