Urban Outfitters Sorry You Were Offended By “Blood-Spattered” Kent State Sweatshirt

Last night, Urban Outfitters took a lot of heat for selling a “Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt” on its website that looked like it was splattered in blood. To some, this seemed like a disturbing, reference to the infamous 1970 incident at the Ohio school in which National Guard members fired on unarmed protesters, killing four. But according to the retailer this is all a big misunderstanding.

In a statement posted to Twitter, Urban writes:

Urban Outfitters sincerely apologizes for any offense our Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt may have caused. 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. The one-of-a-kind item was purchased as part of our sun-faded vintage collection. 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. Again, we deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively and we have removed it immediately from our website to avoid further upset.

Around the same time as UO was apologizing, the leadership at Kent State were declaring their disgust.

“We take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit,” reads a statement from the school. “This item is beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today.”

Urban has removed the shirt from its website, but at least one person claimed to be selling it on eBay, though that listing has since been removed.