Zellers has removed a T-shirt from its stores across Canada after receiving complaints that it is "obscene" and hateful towards trans people.
The children's shirt features two paragraphs of small text, which appear to tell a "story" about trouble-making young friends. An excerpt:
"Oh man, I don't know. They got their equal parts of being ridiculous. Terry is pretty high jinks. I'd say Terry is pretty up there… remember one time when he and I were like fifteen or sixteen, we were driving around…. getting hyped, listening to Mafia; just youngsters having some fun. Me and Terry would see the transvestites on Santa Monica and this one time… [we were] like 'Yo, let's get 'em. Let's drive-by egg these transvestites.'"
The rest of the text is obscured by a design, but there's something else about egging "trannys" and someone throwing a brick at a car. The paragraph ends: "That was fun shit."
One parent who complained to Zellers told the Winnipeg Free Press that the shirt was "hate-mongering."
Read for yourself, screencaps via CBC's The National: (click to enlarge).
The shirt was created by X Games Clothing, which is produced by ESPN Consumer Products. The Winnipeg Free Press reports that ESPN has apologized and is launching an investigation.
Zellers has also issued a statement: "We immediately looked into the matter and have removed the product from our stores. We take all customer concerns seriously and we are working with the vendor on this issue."
On Wednesday night's The National, CBC spoke to The 519's trans program coordinator, Kyle Scanlon. "It sends a message that says 'It's okay to hurt trans people because they're not really human. They're not real; they don't deserve our compassion and empathy,'" Scanlon told the CBC.