This is not the product launch Under Armour wanted.
Fans of the clothing company noticed Friday that it had released a new T-shirt design that portrayed a group of basketball players raising a hoop in the same way an iconic World War II photograph showed American soldiers raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi in Iwo Jima in 1945.
And now the company is apologizing.
The shirt named “Band of Ballers” is now listed as “sold out” on the company website and all images of it have been removed.
The company released a series of tweets Saturday expressing regret for the disrespectful design and support for the military.
Under Armour has the utmost respect and admiration for active duty service men and women and veterans who have served our country. (1/3)
We deeply regret and apologize the release of a shirt that is not reflective of our commitment to support & honor our country’s heroes (2/3)
We have taken the necessary steps to remove this shirt, and any related shirts, from all retail and ensure this doesn’t happen again. (3/3)
But some in the Twitterverse destroyed the company for it’s faux pas.
I’m waiting for @UnderArmour‘s “Band of Looters” tee shirt to come out next. pic.twitter.com/TQgzmK5tKB
— Bob Owens (@bob_owens) May 16, 2015
My Uncle fought on Tarawa & Iwo Jima, wounded multiple times, I find this by @underarmour incredibly disrespectful! pic.twitter.com/50vgNBc2G4
— Ralph Provance (@ralphprovance) May 16, 2015
.@UnderArmour As a Marine vet and the grandson of a WWII Marine grunt who fought in the South Pacific, you can *&$! off. Never buying UA.
— Daniel Watts (@BamaDan78) May 16, 2015
I like a lot of @UnderArmour apparel but whoever designed this t-shirt needs to fired. What’s next… https://t.co/4wYoqbVHzx
— Sean Weatherspoon (@navyman_1996) May 16, 2015
Definitely starting the grill with my under armour gear tonight. https://t.co/sdHirhgnU2
— Kyle Wilson (@kwil8) May 16, 2015
26,000 people were killed in the battle of Iwo Jima. But, Ball is Life. Right, @UnderArmour? pic.twitter.com/8hLpDDrZea
— Duval’s Uncle (@UncleChaps) May 16, 2015
.@UnderArmour On behalf of my US Military brothers and sisters, reducing Iwo Jima to b-ball moment is UNACCEPTABLE. pic.twitter.com/hDbxnwwUG3
— Maximus (@MaxVenator) May 16, 2015
@UnderArmour and to do this on Armed Forces Day too! Total disrespect. Get some people on UA Board who know what Iwo Jima is!
— Shelley Mathis (@Doublereedsrock) May 16, 2015
Famous flag photo almost excluded as too ‘rah rah America’ for 9/11 museum.
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