Bad Timing

04.22.13

Nike Reportedly Scrambling to Remove 'Boston Massacre' Shirts from Shelves

The horribly-timed t-shirts were meant to commemorate the Yankees' 1978 triumph over the Red Sox.

It’s no secret that the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees have a long and bitter rivalry, which has spawned tons of merchandise like the Red Sox’s “Yankees Suck” t-shirts and Yankees’s “Fack Bawston” memorabilia. But one commemorative shirt created by Nike is now being briskly pulled from outlet store shelves in the wake of last week’s Boston Marathon bombing.

The t-shirts, which read “Boston Massacre” in bloodied letters, were produced long before last Monday’s attack. In fact, they reference a late-season sweep by the Yankees of the Red Sox in 1978 -- which culminated in a World Series championship for the Yankees.

But in the wake of last week's events, the t-shirts are now wildly inappropriate -- and Nike is rushing to pull them out of outlet stores and “large online retailers like Fanatics Inc.,” reports ABC News

In a statement issued to The Daily Beast a Nike spokesperson explained: "[The shirts] are older baseball shirts that were predominantly being sold through our Factory Store Outlets. In light of thetragedy in Boston we took immediate action last week to remove this product from distribution."

Nike is not the only athletic apparel brand reacting to last Monday's attack. Boston-based New Balance has donated $1 million to One Fund Boston -- which helps those most affected by the tragedy. (New Balance has also promised to match all of its employees donations.) Adidas has also created a Boston Tribute Tee (purchase it here), with 100 percent of profits going to One Fund Boston as well. An initial production run of the shirts sold out, and the brand has since re-tooled to accomodate unprecedented response.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article suggested that the Yankees had defeated the Red Sox in the 1978 World Series. Instead, it was a late-season sweep that led the Yankees to win the World Series. The article has also been updated with a statement from Nike.