Nike quickly yanks ‘Boston massacre’ T-shirt, avoiding an uproar

The athletic clothing company pulled T-shirts adorned with the phrase ‘Boston massacre’ from its stores before it became a crisis.

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The shirts were a nod toward a 1978 late-season New York Yankees sweep of the Boston Red Sox, and more generally, the longstanding rivalry between those teams. (The original Boston Massacre involved the killing of five colonists by British regulars in 1770.) The visual of the T-shirt, on which red, blood-like splotches dot the word “Boston,” could be jarring to many shoppers still in shock from the carnage at the 2013 Boston Marathon.

That’s why Nike, before complaints could build into a crescendo of bad PR, had the shirts removed from stores.

Crisis communications experts say the move was a great example of smart crisis prevention.

Quick response

“We conducted this process as quickly as possible and are confident the product has been removed from distribution,” Nike spokeswoman Mary Remuzzi told the Associated Press.

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