Topman have apologised for, and removed the sale of, the t-shirt which has caused major offence online.
The t-shirt, which has a large 96 on the back, with the caption ‘What goes around comes back around’, caused outrage when people suggested it could be aimed at the victims of the Hillsborough disaster.
Ninety-six Liverpool fans were killed during the incident, and many fans of the football club, as well as Alison McGovern, MP for Wirral South, asked for the garment to be discontinued.
— Alison McGovern (@Alison_McGovern) March 15, 2018
However, Topman have said the shirt’s design is actually a reference to a Bob Marley song called ‘What Goes Around Comes Around’ which was re-released in 1996.
Despite this, they have still removed the garment from sale, and issued an apology, according to Sky Sports.
A Topman spokesperson said:
Topman apologises unreservedly for any offence caused by this t-shirt. The design was inspired by a Bob Marley track with the number referring to the year of re-release.
The garment has been removed from sale online and in stores.
That “96” jumper from Topman is absolutely shocking. I’m sure whoever designed it has no knowledge of Hillsborough but surely someone should have realised this was a terrible idea. pic.twitter.com/ARV23BDDeG
— Sibs (@SibsMUFC) March 15, 2018
People on Twitter had been debating last night about whether there is a hidden meaning behind the jumper, and whether such a ‘misguided’ design could make it to the shelves.
One user wrote:
The design and colour of the thing immediately suggests Liverpool. It is absolutely insane that made it past the boardroom.
Hillsborough isn’t an exclusive to sports that that not everyone knows about, it’s often made headlines for almost 30 years. Someone has to know.
Regarding the Topman jumper everyone is upset about, a Bob Marley album called 'What Goes Around Comes Around' was release in '96. There's also a jumper they're selling with 95 on it that also say' NINETEEN NINETY FIVE' underneath. This is likely not a reference to Hillsborough.
— Plastic Mouldsman (@MouldsmanP) March 15, 2018
Another said that while the jumper may not have been an intended barb at the disaster, rival fans will use the garment to ‘take the p*ss’.
Back in January, H&M faced similar backlash over a controversial advert for a hoodie.
On January 8 the advert for a £7.99 green hooded children’s top emblazoned with the phrase ‘Coolest Monkey In The Jungle’ was taken down after people noticed that it was modelled by a black child while the other items in the range were modelled by white children.
@hm this is disgusting & irresponsible. You know the history of racist using the term “monkey” to demean people of African descent… and you put this on your website! ???? “Coolest Monkey In the Jungle” #SMH pic.twitter.com/IY877D2d8R
— Karamo Brown (@KaramoBrown) January 8, 2018
The advert went viral on Twitter as thousands took to the site to criticise the store for its astonishing lack of awareness pointing out that ‘monkey’ has been a long-term racist slur.
H&M issued an apology on Instagram for the advert stating:
We understand that many people are upset about the image of the children’s hoodie. We, who work at H&M, can only agree.
We’re deeply sorry that the picture was taken and we also regret the actual print.
Therefore, we’ve not only removed the image from our channels but also the garment from our product offering.
Our position is simple – we have got this wrong and we are deeply sorry.
It’s clear that neither incidents involving the brands were malicious, but you can’t help but think someone should really catch this stuff before they make it anywhere near the shelves.