They say all publicity is good publicity, but that certainly doesn’t apply to Sports Direct at the moment as they’ve been found selling a football shirt that was offensive to the 96 Liverpool fans that died in the Hillsborough stadium disaster.
The news broke as a Man UTD fan posted photos of his new shirt on Facebook, which prompted complaints, his Facebook page to be shut down and Sports Direct to apologise for the insult.
The shirt featured the number 96, representing the 96 fans who died, the acronym YSB (you scouse b******s) and the phrase ‘Not Enough’.
Sports Direct has claimed that when the order for the printing on the shirt was made, their employee didn’t know it was a slur aimed at the Liverpool fans that died at Hillsborough. However, Margaret Aspinall (whose 18 year old son died at Hillsborough) believe Sports Direct knew what they were doing when they printed the offensive shirt.
I think Sports Direct are worse than the guy who wanted it put on the back of his shirt. Printing that message is like inciting trouble, it is an absolute disgrace and Sports Direct should be ashamed.
It is terrible for people who lost someone at Hillsborough to think their loved ones died so this guy can go to watch football in safety.
Sports Direct is owned by Mike Ashley, the chairman of Newcastle United. A spokesman for the company added:
Sports Direct has been notified that an extremely offensive and wholly inappropriate football shirt was printed at one of its stores. The store assistant printed this unknowingly and has been deeply shocked upon being notified of the significance of this and the upset caused.
As a result, Sports Direct has taken immediate action and changed the administration policy for printing football shirts across its store network.
With immediate effect, it will only allow printing of current football player’s names and numbers on football shirts.
This news has put Sports Direct firmly in the public eye, for all of the wrong reasons, showing that no matter how much you try to safeguard your reputation online, it can be destroyed with one simple mistake and a social networking website such as Facebook.