Under Armour is recalling a new shirt design that played off an iconic World War II image following social media outrage that erupted on Friday.
In a series of tweets and a Facebook post, the popular active wear company apologized on Saturday for the “Band of Ballers” shirts, which drew a strong resemblance to the classic 1945 photo “Raising the Flag at Iwo Jima.” The company took to their Facebook page to write the following:
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) May 16, 2015
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 shirt first drew attention, followed by a strong wave of controversy, on Friday.
As reported by Military.com, “Iwo Jima was the only Marine battle where the number of American casualties exceed the Japanese.” Within a period of 36 days, over 19,000 U.S. soldiers were injured and 6,821 were killed. At the end of the Battle of Iwo Jima, American soldiers erected flags to celebrate their hard-one victory, which closely resembles the shirt Under Armour banned.
Wall Street Journal reports the company received a number of complaints, including some harsh words from U.S. soldiers and veterans.
People are already trying to make a profit out of the controversial shirt, selling it at a marked up price on eBay.