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Fashion Brand to Proud Boys: No More Shirts for You

Fred Perry doesn't want to be associated with far-right activists
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2020 12:35 PM CDT

(Newser) – British fashion brand Fred Perry would rather lose sales than be associated with the Proud Boys. The company says it has halted sales in the US and Canada of its black and yellow polo shirts, which have been adopted as a uniform by the far-right activists, the Guardian reports. In a statement on its website, Fred Perry said it stopped selling the shirt in the US in September last year and it will not sell it in North America again "until we’re satisfied that its association with the Proud Boys has ended," reports MarketWatch. The company described the Fred Perry polo shirt as "a piece of British subcultural uniform," adding: "We are proud of its lineage and what the Laurel Wreath has represented for over 65 years: inclusivity, diversity, and independence."

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The company said it was "incredibly frustrating" to see the shirt adopted by the Proud Boys, which has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, CNN reports. "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," the company's statement said. It quoted what its chairman, John Flynn, said when asked about the group in 2017. Founder Fred Perry, a Wimbledon champion, "was the son of a working class socialist MP who became a world tennis champion at a time when tennis was an elitist sport," Flynn said. "He started a business with a Jewish businessman from Eastern Europe ... (and) 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." (Read more Proud Boys stories.)

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