A Nike T-shirt with the blood-splattered words “Boston Massacre” has become rather controversial following the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15.
The T-shirts were manufactured before the Boston bombings, referring to the age-old baseball rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, notes Boing Boing. While the original Boston Massacre was the killing of five colonists by British regulars in March 1770, the term was co-opted to describe the historic, pivotal Red Sox-Yankees four-game series at Boston's Fenway Park beginning on September 7, 1978, which the Yankees swept with a combined score of 42-9.
The “Boston Massacre” shirt could have been questioned as being in bad taste, as promoting violence in sports, even before the Boston bombing, but in the wake of the tragic events of April 15, it became downright offensive.
Eric Stangel, executive producer and writer for the “Late Show With David Letterman,” tweeted about encountering the “Boston Massacre” shirts at a Nike outlet store. Stangel said he told a store employee he believed the shirts to be inappropriate, and the employee replied that the store was removing them from shelves but “somehow they keep ending up back on the rack.” The shirts are not sold in Nike's online store or in the Yankees' online shop, but they are being sold on eBay by third parties.
A Nike spokesperson told ABC News the shirt will be removed from outlet stores and online retailers. Nike faced similar controversy and poor timing in February for running an ad featuring Oscar Pistorius, the Olympic runner charged with murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on February 14.