Black Lives Matter T-shirts only matter so much to Walmart.
The retail chain announced Tuesday it will stopping selling a Black Lives Matter shirt on its website after the country’s largest police union demanded its removal and accused the company of “profiting from racial division.”
Walmart plans to nix a shirt and hoodie that said “BULLETPROOF,” with “Black Lives Matter” written under it. The company announced no plans to pull its other Black Lives Matter merchandise.
The shirt will disappear after getting targeted in a letter from the National Fraternal Order of Police, a group that has often clashed with the Black Lives Matter movement.
The police group’s president, Chuck Canterbury, sent a note to Walmart Tuesday criticizing the company for selling the shirt, which he deemed “offensive.” Walmart offered it online through Old Glory Merchandise, a third-party vendor.
“At a time of year when we as a nation and indeed, as a world, should be coming together in hopes of peace on Earth and goodwill toward men, these third party sellers are profiting from racial division,” Canterbury wrote.
“Commercializing our differences will not help our local police and communities to build greater trust and respect for one another. Turning a buck on strained relationships will not contribute to the healing process.”
He wrote at the end of his note, “I know our request that you dissociate the company from these products will be seriously considered.”
By the end of the day, Walmart said it would withdraw the “BULLETPROOF” shirt after “hearing complaints from customers.”
The company didn’t say anything about the rest of its Black Lives Matter gear, or similar products.
Walmart’s website sells several Black Lives Matter T-shirts and hoodies, as well as clothes bearing the slogans “Blue Lives Matter” — a popular pro-police retort — and “All Lives Matter.”
The “BULLETPROOF” shirt remained on Walmart’s website Wednesday morning, but attempts to purchase it led to a page telling shoppers: “We’re having technical difficulties and are looking into the problem now.”