Social media users called for boycotts against Sears and Kmart over the last several days after a shirt depicting slain U.S. Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt as an “American Patriot” was found to be for sale.
The item appears to have been placed up for sale by a third-party merchandiser and not licensed by Sears or Kmart, both of which are owned by Sears Holdings Corporation.
According to a Wednesday report from MarketWatch, the shirts have been available on the sites since January.
What are the details?
The shirt features a battered American flag with Babbitt’s name on top of the flag and “American Patriot” emblazoned below the flag.
Its presence on the stores’ respective marketplaces drew heavy criticism from social media, with many users calling for a boycott of the stores.
Journalist Aaron Rupar tweeted about the shirt, writing, “@Sears and @Kmart are selling Ashli Babbitt ‘American Patriot’ shirts[.]”
Rupar’s tweet drew thousands of comments, retweets, and calls for boycotts of both stores.
Sears issued a statement announcing that the product was removed from both Sears.com and Kmart.com following the outrage.
@atrupar Thank you for bringing this product to our attention. This item is no longer available for purchase on… https://t.co/ZQJpMcO9hg
— Sears (@Sears)1625613307.0
Despite the company ultimately yanking the product from its virtual shelves, social media users continued to call for boycotts of both stores.
Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten added, “Welp, no Sears and Kmart for me. Ashli Babbitt was a traitor. Deluded, perhaps. Naive, sure. Stupid, hard to argue. But she stormed the U.S. Capitol, menacing U.S. congresspeople, destroying property, challenging democracy and the rule of law.”
Welp, no Sears and Kmart for me. Ashli Babbitt was a traitor. Deluded, perhaps. Naive, sure. Stupid, hard to ar… https://t.co/5tLl2fDASz
— Gene Weingarten (@Gene Weingarten)1625621063.0
Writer Tara Dublin tweeted, “Holy Not Okay, @sears & @kmart. I know you cater to the lowest common denominators, but this is abhorrent. Can anyone try to be better, or have we all given up as a society? JFC[.]”
Holy Not Okay, @sears & @kmart. I know you cater to the lowest common denominators, but this is abhorrent. Can anyo… https://t.co/wBOkgpzHGF
— Tara Dublin, Untapped Writing Goldmine #SignTara (@Tara Dublin, Untapped Writing Goldmine #SignTara)1625610488.0
Another user added, “would say boycott Kmart and Sears but they appear to be going bankrupt plus there are no stores around me so they appear to be boycotting themselves.”
“Well, Sears and Kmart just joined Toyota on the boycott list,” a clearly angry user tweeted.
Another user — whose Twitter name is “Praise Black Jesus” — added, “Holy f***. This is seriously disturbing. Boycott @Kmart! Boycott @Sears! And boycott @Walmart.”
“#boycottSears if you can still find one #boycottkmart if you can still find one Both stores actively support domestic terrorism & we l, the #Resistance will see they shut their doors permanently over this,” another user promised.
Babbitt, 35, an Air Force veteran and Trump supporter, was shot by a Capitol Police officer while climbing through a broken window on a door leading to the Speaker’s Lobby during the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Ashli Babbitt American Patriot Shirt