Fashion

Fred Perry Stops Sale of Its Popular Shirt to Distance Itself from Dangerous Hate Group

The black/ yellow/ yellow twin-tipped shirt will not be available in the U.S. and Canada anymore. 
IMAGE Unsplash/ Amber Kipp
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British retailer Fred Perry decides to stop selling one of its most popular designs, the black/ yellow/ yellow twin-tipped shirt, to distance itself from the Proud Boys.

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Labeled as a neo-fascist organization, an extremist group, or hate group by official agencies such as the FBI and the Southern Poverty Law Center, which highlights the group’s anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric, the Proud Boys has adopted the iconic style as its uniform.  

The all-male group has been linked to violence as its members are often seen brandishing weapons, intimidating protestors, and even inciting fights in anti-racism marches. The Proud Boys was also recently in the news because of U.S. President Trump’s “stand back and stand by” shout out in the American presidential debates. 

In a statement released on its website, Fred Perry expresses its incredible frustration and makes clear that it “does not support and is in no way affiliated with the Proud Boys.” With the meanings of its shirt and even its logo, the laurel leaf, becoming skewed because of the hate group, it takes action by stopping the style’s sale in the U.S. and Canada “until we’re satisfied that its association with the Proud Boys has ended.”

The brand further expresses the significance of the Fred Perry shirt, “a piece of British subcultural uniform” that has been adopted by different generations and groups without prejudice. “We are proud of its lineage and what the Laurel Wreath has represented for over 65 years: inclusivity, diversity, and independence,” it continues.

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The official statement ends with the powerful words of Fred Perry chairman John Flynn in 2017, a reminder of the brand’s inclusive origins:

“Fred was the son of a working class socialist MP who became a world tennis champion at a time when tennis was an elitist sport. He started a business with a Jewish businessman from Eastern Europe. It’s a shame we even have to answer questions like this. No, we don’t support the ideals or the group that you speak of. It is counter to our beliefs and the people we work with.” 

READ MORE ABOUT FRED PERRY

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Fred Perry Releases A Limited-Run 'Philippine' Polo Shirt

Most recently, another retailer makes a stand against hate. E-commerce giant Amazon has removed merchandise with the words “stand back” and “stand by” and variations of these, as well as items related to the Proud Boys from its site.

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