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Chicago T-Shirt Company Pulls Blackhawks-Themed "Chicago Stronger" Design

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jun 14, 2013 7:00PM

Cubby Tees

A Chicago t-shirt company pulled a design for a Blackhawks-themed shirt that was a riff on the "Boston Strong" rally cry following the April Boston Marathon bombings.

Cubby Tees, a local t-shirt that actually makes some pretty good designs, decided to riff on the "Boston Strong" theme with the t-shirts you see above and below. What Cubby Tees didn't anticipate was the backlash from Bostonians and people at home.

Boston Sports Then & Now wrote, "I thought most of the people in Chicago were behind Boston after the marathon bombings, well I guess that changes when the Stanley Cup is involved." Chicago Now's Ted Gruber wrote, "Cubby Tees is feeding off the tragedy and looking to fill their pockets with dirty money essentially. I would hope many would not buy a single shirt off this website no matter the team or what shirt would look good. To sell this shirt is a down right stupid."

The reaction is even harsher from the Greek Chorus that is the Internet, which led Cubby Tees to pull the shirts from market after what they called "a good new-fashioned Twitter lynching." (Bad choice of words there, folks.)

There are two ways to look at this. Was Cubby Tees trying to profit off the "Boston Strong" theme? Absolutely. And they overplayed their hand with the bombings fresh in everyone's memory. The flip side to the coin, as WSCR-AM afternoon host Dan Bernstein noted, is that the moment any sports team picks up the standard, all bets are off. Even in Boston.

But sports teams and their fans are inextricably intertwined, and the Bruins' stanley Cup run has given Bostonians a measure of solace we, Bernstein and the folks at Cubby Tees can't imagine. If the tables were reversed and a Boston t-shirt company printed shirts we found offensive, what would Bernstein's reaction be? Or those in Boston?