Under Armour Pulls Offensive T-Shirt Design

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Under Armour just trashed a T-shirt design based on an historic World War II photograph following outrage.

The “Band of Ballers” shirt featured four athletes in silhouette raising a basketball hoop in poses reminiscent of “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima,” the iconic photograph of five Marines and a Navy corpsman planting an American flag on Mt. Suribachi on Feb 23, 1945.

Under Armour’s Facebook page lit up with complaints, mostly about comparing a pickup game of basketball to serving in World War II. But every now and again someone would be more annoyed that the name of the shirt is most likely a reference to the Army’s 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, who should never, ever, ever be confused with Marines.

The company’s response was swift. The design was pulled. An abject apology was issued on Facebook:

Under Armour has the utmost respect and admiration for the men and women on active duty and veterans who have served our country. As such, 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. Supporting those who serve our country has been part of our brand’s DNA since the very beginning, and through our partnerships and by working directly with military organizations, it will always serve as the foundation of our efforts to give back.

The upshot: the T-shirt is going for $100 and up on eBay, and someone made this parody T-shirt image:

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  1. Well, I was in the Marines and I’m not offended. “Band of Brothers” is from the Saint Crispins’ Day speech from Shakespeare’s ‘Henry V’ The Marine Corps has employed the term for years and I was surprised when I first heard it attached to the HBO series since I knew it was about an Army unit. Once again. No need to be offended. Here’s a segment of the soliloquy from ‘Henry V’
    “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition;
    And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
    Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.”

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