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Walmart Pulls Offensive Shirt Amid Claims It "Downplays" Real-Life Massacre

Social media users dubbed the shirts "disgusting" and "disrespectful" on X.

Walmart has had its fair share of controversial products over the years. This time last year, a shirt on sale at a Walmart in Canada was pulled due to an offensive word, while boots deemed "inappropriate" were dropped from the retailer's online marketplace last June. Now, Walmart has had to issue another apology in regards to an offensive T-shirt that some felt was downplaying the tragic 2022 school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

RELATED: Walmart Pulls Shirts After Backlash Over Offensive Word.

Brett Cross—who lost his 10-year-old nephew, Uziyah Sergio Garcia, in the shooting at Robb Elementary School—spotted the shirts at his local Walmart store. (According to the San Antonio Express-News, Uziyah lived with Cross and his wife, Nikki, "who loved him as a son," before the tragedy.)

In his post, Cross included a picture of a dark blue T-shirt that read, "Where the heck is Uvalde, Texas," with an image of the state of Texas in the background.

Cross captioned the picture, "Oh you know, that town by San Antonio where 19 kids and two teachers were killed."

People were quick to respond to the post, pointing out the insensitivity.

"WHY WOULD SOMEONE MAKE THIS SHIRT! @Walmart joins the retailers with no morals. So sad," an X user wrote.

Another added, "@Walmart, certainly you did not intend to profit from the horrible massacre in Uvalde. Right???"

Others deemed the shirt "disgusting" and "disrespectful." But Cross, who is now an activist fighting to end gun violence, told USA Today that the shirts highlight broader societal issues.

"How do you make a shirt saying where the heck is Uvalde, when less than two years ago, the third largest school massacre happened?" Cross asked. "Intent doesn't equal impact. It doesn't matter if Walmart thought it was a fun/cute shirt. What matters is you are downplaying my son's death, his teachers' and classmates' death."

He continued by saying that people are desensitized to these types of tragedies, asking why no one at Walmart thought, "Maybe we shouldn't put this out because 21 people were slaughtered."

"Nobody thought this was a bad idea? No, because as long as it makes money, that's all these corporations care about," Cross concluded.

RELATED: Walmart Accused of "Price Gouging" Great Value Products by Ex-Government Official.

In a statement to Best Life, a Walmart spokesperson confirmed that the shirts were pulled from the store in question, also offering an apology.

"Our stores have always been central to the communities they serve, and our store managers have the ability to purchase merchandise that is locally relevant. Though well intended, we apologize for any distress this item has caused," the spokesperson said. "The store immediately removed the item once we learned that it was perceived negatively by some customers."

But Cross wasn't impressed with the apology, and told USA Today that Walmart had not contacted him directly.

"They can make a true difference, they can make notable change, but that requires work that I don't believe they will put in," he told the newspaper. "It was a decision that was made with no regard for those of us who lost our kids/family in the shooting."

Cross added, "We have to do better as a species. We have to change policies, practices, and our overall perception of what these shootings, and the politicians that enable them mean!"

Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more
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