Nike has decided to remove its T-shirts emblazoned with “Boston Massacre” from shelves after outcry over their insensitivity in the wake of the city’s bombings.
The T-shirts, worn by Yankees fans, show blood-splattered lettering – a reference to when the team overcame a massive game deficit to beat the Boston Red Sox and win the World Series in 1978.
The insensitive garments were brought to Nike’s attention when Eric Stangel, an executive producer and writer for the Late Show with David Letterman, tweeted an image of the shirt.
“Saw this @ Nike Outlet,” Eric Stangel, who lives in New York, wrote on Saturday.
“Told them they shouldn’t be selling it.”
Eric Stangel added that a staff member responded, somewhat cryptically: “We’ve been taking them down. But somehow they keep ending up back on the rack.”
“Who thought that was a good idea?” one follower wrote.
Another said: “Rip off the rack!”
Many others questioned the point of the T-shirt before the even massacre occurred.
Among the responses on Twitter, Eric Stangel also heard from a representative from Nike, Heidi Burgett.
“Thank you Eric,” she wrote.
“We took action earlier this week to remove the shirts. We are immediately on it again thanks to your tweet.”
The T-shirt has a double meaning; the name “Boston Massacre” was originally used to describe an attack by the British Army in 1770, in an incident which left five civilian men dead and six injured.
The phrase was later adopted by baseball fans to refer to a series between the Red Sox and the Yankees in 1978, when the Yankees battled back from a 14-game deficit to equal the Sox.
After winning a one-game playoff against the Boston team, the Yankees played the Los Angeles Dodgers and won the World Series.
Boston is still recovering following the bombings at the finish line of the marathon, which left three dead and injured more than 180 people a week ago.
One suspected bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was later killed in a police shoot out, while the second, his 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is recovering in hospital with a throat wound after apparently trying to kill himself.