Under Armour Pulls ‘Band of Ballers’ T-shirts Featuring Iwo Jima Image
WASHINGTON, May 18 (UPI) — Under Armour said Saturday that it would pull a basketball T-shirt that was criticized for disrespecting the memory of American veterans.
The sports apparel company came under fire last week for selling a so-called “Band of Ballers” T-shirt, which depicted four men raising a basketball hoop. The image was based on Joe Rosenthal’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph, “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima,” one of the most iconic photographs of Wold War II.
Social media users described the shirt as inappropriate and called on Under Armour to pull the item.
“@UnderArmour On behalf of my US Military brothers and sisters, reducing Iwo Jima to b-ball moment is UNACCEPTABLE,” wrote one Twitter user.
“@UnderArmour this is disgusting and a slap in the face to my fellow #Marines. “Band of Ballers” shirt? Such a shame,” wrote another.
Under Armour apologized Saturday on Twitter, promising to pull the shirt from all of its retailers.
“Under Armour has the utmost respect and admiration for active duty service men and women and veterans who have served our country,” the company said. “We deeply regret and apologize the release of a shirt that is not reflective of our commitment to support & honor our country’s heroes.”
“We have taken the necessary steps to remove this shirt, and any related shirts, from all retail and ensure this doesn’t happen again,” the company added.