An offensive Washington football team T-shirt, promoted on Facebook, has prompted outrage by Native Americans.

Offensive T-Shirt Sponsored on Facebook Links Native Americans With Drinking

Simon Moya-Smith

Activist and ICTMN columnist Amanda Blackhorse, Diné, was scrolling through Facebook Friday morning when a disturbing image cropped up on her feed.

It was a caricature of a Native American -- the logo of the Washington football team -- and next to it were the words, "THIS TEAM MAKES ME DRINK."

Blackhorse said none of her Facebook friends had posted the image; instead, it was sponsored content on Facebook.

Blackhorse immediately posted images of the T-shirt to her wall, which set off a firestorm of criticism of the shirt.

Blackhorse's Facebook friends began excoriating the shirt, calling it "very inappropriate!" and "disgusting!"

"A lot of people are up in arms about it," she said.

The clothing manufacturer that makes the shirt, Shirts Are Cool, based in Gainesville, Florida, does not market the product on its Facebook wall, but it does on its website. The shirt is being sold for $20 and $22

Ironically, scroll down on the company's wall and a shirt reading "CAUCASIANS" crops up. It was posted on November 11, 2014.

According to Facebook's page about sponsored content, the website "uses an algorithm to rank content based upon the likely interest to a user to help deliver the most relevant content." That is, the more users view content about a specific subject the more advertisements similar to the content will creep up into a user's feed.

Blackhorse later posted on her wall that she encourages people to contact the company and "let them know what you think."

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WhiteManWanting's picture
Submitted by WhiteManWanting on
To me, the "Caucasians" shirt seems to mock the idea that anyone could or should take offense or present opposition to any team logo or name. In a larger context, the intellectual and moral depth of this company is non-existent. All they care about is producing as many different shirts as they can in a shotgun strategy, hoping to generate a quick laugh by a few equally intellectually or morally bankrupt individuals, in order to get them to part with their money in exchange for an over-priced t-shirt. They could care less about where it's worn, how it's used, who it offends, etc. It likely never crossed their minds, and when pointed out, it clearly didn't matter (as evidenced by the fact that the "Redskins" shirt is still on their site in late Feb 2015).