Under Armour Pulls T-Shirt Disrespectful of World War II Veterans

Under Armour Pulls T-Shirt Disrespectful of World War II Veterans

Under Armour Pulls T-Shirt Disrespectful of World War II Veterans

Under Armour, the trendy sports clothing manufacturer who claims that its mission is to “make all athletes better through passion, design, and the relentless pursuit of innovation,” ignited an indignant passion that it didn’t expect through its release of a T-shirt which they labeled “Band of Ballers.”

ballers shirtDoes that image look familiar?

iwo-jima-flag-raising-e1431767438223Yep, those relentlessly innovative Under Armour designers made a T-shirt that equated the actions of basketball players to the Marines hoisting the flag on Mount Suribachi after the incredibly bloody Iwo Jima campaign of 1945.

Many Americans were angry, and rightly so.

And this from someone whose uncle fought on Iwo Jima and was wounded:


Under Armour felt the burn and decided to pull the T-shirts, issuing this statement on their Facebook page:

Under Armour has the utmost respect and admiration for the men and women on active duty and veterans who have served our country. As such, we deeply regret and apologize that a t-shirt that was not reflective of our values in honoring and supporting our country’s heroes went on sale. We have taken immediate action to remove it from retail and will take great measures to ensure this does not happen again. Supporting those who serve our country has been part of our brand’s DNA since the very beginning, and through our partnerships and by working directly with military organizations, it will always serve as the foundation of our efforts to give back.

Just for good measure, Under Armour also decided to pull this T-shirt, called “Crossing Over,” which mimics Washington crossing the Delaware:

crossing over shirtUnder Armour didn’t officially claim to have removed the Crossing Over shirt, but should you venture over to their site to look for the shirt, you’ll find this:

under armour

under armourAs the daughter of a World War II veteran — now 91 and still going strong — I find this sort of disrespect to be appalling. Is the term “The Greatest Generation,” which we’ve used to describe the World War II generation, now just a cliché devoid of any meaning? Can teenage basketball players raising their hoop possibly be compared to these men?

In closing, I will leave you with an anecdote.

My father lives in my hometown about 500 miles away from me. I speak with him every weekend, and on Saturday he told me that he had been having trouble with his computer modem. A young man from his internet provider came to his house to install a new modem, and he noticed the photo my father has in his office of the B-17 bomber in which he flew in 1944. He was quite interested in the picture, and he and Dad had quite a wonderful conversation about Dad’s war experiences.

So Under Armour notwithstanding, there is still hope for younger generations to learn about World War II and its heroes. On this Armed Forces Day weekend, we should all revere the remaining warriors from that most massive of all armed conflicts. They are indeed national treasures.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!


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