(CNN) — T.J. Maxx has reportedly pulled a T-shirt from its shelves after a shopper tweeted an image of the shirt featuring the phrase “Hang Loose” and an illustration of a noose, leading to an uproar on social media.
Beachwear company Tavik made the shirt, hence the surfing term “Hang Loose,” but the inclusion of the noose led posters on social media to draw connections to lynching and suicide.
“In which a t-shirt company manages to be completely tone deaf in not one, but two ways,” one tweeter wrote.
Tavik PR manager Kelly McElroy said the company regrets the design.
“We sincerely apologize for any offense caused by this T-shirt. This item was released without going through proper protocols and is not related to anything other than surfing.”
“At T.J. Maxx, we take product matters very seriously and appreciate that this T-shirt was brought to our attention,” T.J. Maxx spokeswoman Doreen Thompson said. “As soon as we became aware of the offensive T-shirt message, we initiated the process to remove this item from our stores.
“We mistakenly purchased a few hundred units of the item, and unfortunately, with thousands of products coming into each of our stores every week, our product review process missed this item. We would like to apologize to our customers for any offense this may have caused.”
Tavik is taking steps to make sure the shirt isn’t sold elsewhere.
“This T-shirt will not be sold by TAVIK or any other retailer,” McElroy wrote in an email. “We immediately pulled this item from all retailers and have destroyed our remaining units.”