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Urban Outfitters apologizes for 'bloody' Kent State sweatshirt

Urban Outfitters explained the shirt this way: "The one-of-a-kind item was purchased as part of our sun-faded vintage collection. 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."
Published Sep. 15, 2014

Urban Outfitters issued an apology Monday as it came under scathing attack for featuring a "vintage" Kent State University sweatshirt that appeared to have been splattered with blood.

The shirt was briefly offered on the edgy retailer's web site for $129, according to Buzzfeed, which first reported on the apparel.

Kent State officials issued a statement condemning the shirt:

May 4, 1970, was a watershed moment for the country and especially the Kent State family. We lost four students that day while nine others were wounded and countless others were changed forever.

We take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit. This item is beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today.

Social media sites were unforgiving in their posts about the sweatshirt. Here are just a few of the choice ones:

Hate it when the washing machine discolors my duds by creating meticulously tailored blood stains http://t.co/3fLzii5Z3a

This is your weekly reminder that Urban Outfitters is the worst place on Earth. http://t.co/H1Te1JFtsM pic.twitter.com/NVEJP9UrUd

On what planet is this acceptable, @UrbanOutfitters? A bloody @KentState sweatshirt? http://t.co/I4OMJMWeqY

I'd love to know what marketing a*hole came up with this. Will there be Columbine and Sandy Hook styles avail too? http://t.co/dS7wtJ5aGF

This from @UrbanOutfitters is far too tasteful: http://t.co/PDeDhLLaLQ How about "I went to Dachau and all I got was this lousy tattoo"?

Urban Outfitters did issue an apology:

Urban Outfitters sincerely apologizes for any offense our Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt may have caused. It (cont) http://t.co/o3oKyPJFu8

Full text: Urban Outfitters sincerely apologizes for any offense our Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt may have caused. 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. The one-of-a-kind item was purchased as part of our sun-faded vintage collection. 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. Again, we deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively and we have removed it immediately from our website to avoid further upset.

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