Reebok has apologized for a controversial tee-shirt offering which caused an uproar this morning. The UFC Ireland tee cut out Northern Ireland, leading to backlash online, including from Conor McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh.
The tee was removed from the site following the outcry, and the UK specific Twitter account for Reebok issued the following:
We sincerely apologise for the offence caused by the UFC Ireland t-shirt. This was a design error and has now been removed.
— Reebok UK (@ReebokUK) October 21, 2015
The controversy revolved around the Reebok shirt simply saying “Ireland” but the map showing simply The Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland, a separate country currently part of the United Kingdom, was held out, despite it being part of Ireland as an identity, and with the caption for the shirt telling fans to show their “UFC territorial allegiance,” many took offense. Reebok’s attempting to smooth things over after the gaffe.
For those unfamiliar with why this might cause controversy, check out the below video on the background on the two countries (h/t: Luke Thomas at MMAFighting.com):
Penick’s Analysis: Well obviously it was a design error. The problem comes with the fact that they didn’t realize why the shirt shouldn’t have been put out there until there was a backlash. It seems the company has not been conducting due diligence on anything regarding the UFC products they’re putting out, and it’s giving the company a very bad look right now. The entire thing has been a complete mess, and they’re going backward rather than improving things at this point in the deal.