This is a perfect example where a sports rivalry marketing of the past now has a totally new meaning in light of recent events.
Nike printed t-shirts with the words “BOSTON MASSACRE” written across the front. The t-shirts look as if blood was splattered across the text.
In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, the t-shirts have been pulled off the shelves.
A Nike spokesperson told ABC News that the retailer has pulled the shirts from their outlets as well as from large online retailers.
The shirts, a play on the infamous 1770 attack on Boston civilians by British soldiers, were printed to commemorate the baseball seasons if 1978 and 2006 in which the Yankees swept the Red Sox, ending the Boston team’s playoffs hopes.
In what is normal sports rivalry trash talk, Yankees fans called the baseball sweeps as the “Boston massacres.”
After the attacks on Boston last week which left three dead and more than 180 injured, the Nike shirts can now be viewed as offensive.
According to ABC News this is not the first time Nike has pulled a product.
In February the company removed an ad featuring Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius with the caption “I am the bullet in the chamber,” after he was charged in the death of his girlfriend.
Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant