“We sincerely apologize for any offense caused by this T-shirt,” Tavik’s PR manager, Kelly McElroy said in a statement to The Washington Post. “This item was released without going through proper protocols and has zero relation to anything other than surfing. We will be pulling this item from retailers immediately.”
TJ Maxx had not responded to a request for comment last night.
Though the shirt is pictured with a TJ Maxx pricetag in the photo that began circulating on Twitter, it appears backcountry.com was still offering the shirt on its Web site for $13.17, describing it as “PLEASANTLY PROVOCATIVE.”
A Backcountry customer, WhoDat, posted this review on Dec. 16, 2014:
Ive gotten mixed reactions to this shirt. Ive had a guy accuse this shirt of having some racist agenda behind it. Ive had one person complain that it promotes violence. Just, be warned about the audience when you wear it, is what Im saying.Im a fan of graveyard humor, so I thought the shirt was funny and Ive had plenty of people dig it.
Well, now everyone can discuss it at Starbucks, which for some reason is attempting to enter the national conversation on race by encouraging its baristas to talk about the subject with customers. This is real; Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz is backing a new initiative called “Race Together.”