Most of the clothing we cover on this website are either available now or available soon, but that’s not the case with this Kent State sweater from Urban Outfitters. Urban Outfitters has pulled the item from its website following a controversy that probably should have seemed obvious before it was ever released – many, upon seeing the sweater, assumed that the red spatters on it were supposed to be blood, and that the whole thing was a reference to the infamous Kent State shootings in 1970.
Urban Outfitters denied the connection in a statement released on Twitter here:
“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 … 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.”
Even if that’s completely true, it’s a no-brainer that somebody at Urban Outfitters should have realized the potential misunderstanding, especially since the shooting is the first thing many people think of when they hear or read the words “Kent State.” Hopefully this was a genuine mistake and not some kind of publicity stunt – remember to pay attention in your US history classes, kids.