Fred Perry condemns Proud Boys, won’t sell iconic shirt until association w/ far-right group has ended
British counter-cultural brand Fred Perry has issued a statement asserting that they condemn the far-right group the Proud Boys in North America for appropriating their iconic Black/Yellow/Yellow twin tipped shirt, and they've vowed to stop selling the shirt in the US and Canada "until [they're] satisfied that its association with the Proud Boys has ended." The statement reads:
Fred Perry does not support and is in no way affiliated with the Proud Boys.
It is incredibly frustrating that this group has appropriated our Black/Yellow/Yellow twin tipped shirt and subverted our Laurel Wreath to their own ends.
The Fred Perry shirt is a piece of British subcultural uniform, adopted by various groups of people who recognise their own values in what it stands for. We are proud of its lineage and what the Laurel Wreath has represented for over 65 years: inclusivity, diversity and independence. The Black/Yellow/Yellow twin tipped shirt has been an important part of that uniform since its introduction in the late 70s, and has been adopted generation after generation by various subcultures, without prejudice.
Despite its lineage, we have seen that the Black/Yellow/Yellow twin tipped shirt is taking on a new and very different meaning in North America as a result of its association with the Proud Boys. That association is something we must do our best to end. We therefore made the decision to stop selling the Black/Yellow/Yellow twin tipped shirt in the US from September 2019, and we will not sell it there or in Canada again until we’re satisfied that its association with the Proud Boys has ended.
To be absolutely clear, if you see any Proud Boys materials or products featuring our Laurel Wreath or any Black/Yellow/Yellow related items, they have absolutely nothing to do with us, and we are working with our lawyers to pursue any unlawful use of our brand.
Frankly we can’t put our disapproval in better words than our Chairman did when questioned in 2017:
“Fred was the son of a working class socialist MP who became a world tennis champion at a time when tennis was an elitist sport. He started a business with a Jewish businessman from Eastern Europe. It’s a shame we even have to answer questions like this. No, we don’t support the ideals or the group that you speak of. It is counter to our beliefs and the people we work with,” John Flynn, Fred Perry Chairman 2017
Meanwhile, Proud Boys held a rally on Saturday (9/26) in Portland, and counter-rallies took place nearby. The Oregonian reports:
A far-right rally at a North Portland city park, and simultaneous demonstrations opposing it, placed the city on high alert Saturday as the events unfolded. But there were no large clashes between dueling protesters or with police as of 6 p.m. and participants in the various events had disbanded.
Several hundred people affiliated with Proud Boys, a loosely organized, far-right group designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group, rallied at Delta Park for several hours. As rally-goers departed, police cited three participants on weapons charges and announced they were investigating an assault on a person who was punched, pushed and kicked in the face while live-streaming the event.
You can read more here.