Urban Outfitters faces backlash for controversial sweatshirt

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KENT, Ohio — Kent State University said it took “great offense” to a vintage sweatshirt that was sold by Urban Outfitters.

The sweatshirt, which displays the university’s name and logo, is different shades of red with the ink concentrated in certain spots. Many were appalled by the shirt, saying it looked like splattered blood.

In May 1970, four unarmed Kent State University students died when the National Guard opened fire during a Vietnam War protest.

The sweatshirt was listed on Urban Outfitters’ website for $129.

The description read, “Washed soft and perfectly broken in, this vintage Kent State sweatshirt is cut in a loose, slouchy fit. Excellent vintage condition. We only have one, so get it or regret it!”

Kent State University sent WJW a statement that reads:

“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.

We invite the leaders of this company as well as anyone who invested in this item to tour our May 4 Visitors Center, which opened two years ago, to gain perspective on what happened 44 years ago and apply its meaning to the future.”

Urban Outfitters also responded to the outrage the sweatshirt caused.