Walmart removed several varieties of shirts and hoodies with the slogan “Bulletproof: Black Lives Matter” from its website, a spokesperson confirmed Wednesday, after a police union complained they were offensive.
“Like other online retailers, we have a marketplace with millions of items offered by third parties that includes Blue Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter merchandise,” said a spokesperson for the world’s largest retailer, with more than $482 billion in revenue. “After hearing concerns from customers, we are removing the specific item with the ‘bulletproof’ reference.”
The head of the Fraternal Order of Police wrote an open letter to Walmart Tuesday night requesting that the company to take down “Black Lives Matter” merchandise from its website.
Canterbury wrote that the clothing would “damage your company’s good name amongst FOP members and other active and retired law enforcement officers.” The FOP calls itself the world’s largest law enforcement group, claiming more than 330,000 members in 2,200 lodges.
“At a time of year when we as a nation and indeed, as a world, should be coming together in hopes of peace on Earth and goodwill toward men, these third party sellers are profiting from racial division,” he added.
The right-wing website Breitbart drew attention to the presence of “Black Lives Matter” shirts on Walmart’s site earlier this month, which prompted some on Twitter to call for a boycott of the retailer.
Like many retailers doing business online, Walmart offers merchandise from third-party sellers on its website, which can be distinguished by a small note on the product page.
As of Wednesday afternoon, shirts with the “Bulletproof” slogan could not be found on Walmart’s website. Plenty of other merchandise with phrases like “Black Lives Matter,” “Blue Lives Matter,” “All Lives Matter” and even “Journalists Lives Matter” was available at $18 to $42 apiece.