Disgusting t-shirt mocking Afghans falling to death from US plane sparks outrage
A couple of online retailers sparked outrage after hawking a T-shirt that mocks Afghans who died after falling from a US plane in an attempt to flee the Taliban earlier this week.
The gravely offensive clothing, emblazoned with the words “Kabul Skydiving Club Est. 2021" popped up on several online stores including Etsy, Tee4Sport, and TShirtAtLowPrice.com. The shirt also depicted art showing two people plummeting from the US Air Force jet, one of whom was a 17-year-old boy, as they desperately tried to flee Afghanistan following a hostile takeover by the Taliban, the New York Post reported.
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“Featuring the scene of the plane flying in the sky and suddenly, there are two people falling from it, the Kabul Skydiving Club Shirt is officially becoming a phenomenon and goes viral on the Internet after that!” read the description for the tee. “For those who are into Parachuting, skydiving, those who love jumping from the airplane to experience the highest mood, this shirt is totally suitable to wear!” It added, “The shirt originally does have its own meaning in the political aspect, but in the end, it depends on how you feel about it!”
The description page also featured a 19-second YouTube clip of a man modeling the controversial couture, offering a variety of colors and ranges in size from small to 5XL. The video has since been taken down. What's more? In an apparent attempt to prove their empathy, the manufacturers brazenly offered condolences to the victims of the tragedy. “We were truly heartbroken and empathetic with the horrifying death of 2 people falling from the plane,” they wrote, adding, “and it was a shock when the rest of the world understand how the people of Afghanistan are facing the situation over there.”
As expected, social media was inundated with responses excoriating the sellers for trying to profit off a heartbreaking tragedy. “As Afghans are fleeing and clinging to planes out of desperation, someone decided to capitalize on their pain and misery with this repulsive t-shirt,” wrote Holly Dagres, an Iranian American senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. “It’s being sold on at least half a dozen t-shirt printing websites right now. Humans can be so cruel.”
"Disgusting. Afghans falling from the plane shirts being sold online. Stooping so low for profit. For shame," one Twitter user wrote. “This is just so wrong! Shame on you, V-Shirt! Disrespectful big time!” and another added, "I really don’t understand those behind this t-shirt and those who wear it. This is really far from humanity and disgusting," a comment read. “This is what we’ve become, apparently," another chimed in.
As Afghans are fleeing and clinging to planes out of desperation, someone decided to capitalize on their pain and misery with this repulsive t-shirt.— Holly Dagres (@hdagres) August 18, 2021
It’s being sold on at least half a dozen t-shirt printing websites right now. Humans can be so cruel. pic.twitter.com/du5cCbD2QA
Disgusting. AFGHANS FALLING FROM THE PLANE SHIRTS BEING SOLD ONLINE. Stooping so low for profit. For shame. pic.twitter.com/UHAOWNKUMs— M. A. K. D 🇵🇰 (@MDurrani85) August 20, 2021
This is just so wrong! Shame on you V-Shirt! Disrespectful big time! #KabulHasFallen #Kabul pic.twitter.com/SJO9F8xM1V— crypTony Soprano™ (@TonySopranoTM) August 20, 2021
I really don’t understand those behind this t shirt and those who wear it. This is really far from humanity and disgusting.— Mahnaz Mohammadizadegan (@MahnazMohamma19) August 20, 2021
This is what we've becone, apparently.— FS (@Lurk61953789) August 18, 2021
MEAWW previously reported that one of the Afghans seen falling from the USAF plane as it took off from Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport was identified as a 17-year-old boy whose younger brother might have also died while attempting to flee the country.
Relatives of the teenager reportedly described the moment they found his mangled body on the ground after he fell from the C-17 transport plane. "His legs and arms were gone. I brought him back myself," a family member told Vice News. To protect their families and since they are minors, the publication called the teen and his 16-year-old brother Reza and Kabeer.
The two boys were impoverished teenage brothers who sold watermelons at Kabul's central market and scavenged in the bins of Kabul's markets to provide for their mother, who is now left with no other children after they tragically fell to their deaths.