Under Armour Slammed for Exploiting Iconic Iwo Jima War Image to Sell Basketball T-Shirt

May 16th, 2015 12:00 PM

Timothy Burke at the sports blog Deadspin reports “A T-shirt that appropriates the imagery of raising the flag on Iwo Jima has apparel maker Under Armour under attack. Hundreds of people outraged by the shirt have been flooding Under Armour’s Facebook page today with complaints.”
The Baltimore-based sports apparel company calls the shirt “Band of Ballers.” (The TV series Band of Brothers was based on World War II in Europe, not in Asia.) They could have gotten sillier and called it "Iwo Gymma."

Tweets to Under Armour include messages like “Gotta say the band of ballers shirt should not be sold.Disrespectful to all military past present and future.” And: “This honestly sickens me. ‘Band of Ballers’? I will never buy Under Armour again and that is a promise. Have respect.”

Deadspin has also hit Under Armour for "peak sports jingoism"  when they made a blood-spattered patriotic football uniform.

At least Iwo Jima wasn't exploited to illustrate a war on "global warming," as a Time magazine cover did in 2008. Then-Time editor Richard Stengel -- now serving Obama at the State Department -- explained on MSNBC at the time that "by using that famous Iwo Jima image and saying basically what we have to do is what we did before World War II by creating a great national effort, national endeavor, to combat this problem. Using cap-and-trade policy and using new research into renewable energy and having an efficiency surge with energy all across the country. This is this massive effort that is needed."