Online retailer Etsy is facing the heat on social media after users found the e-commerce platform selling offensive shirts mocking people who plummeted to their deaths in an attempt to flee the Taliban.
Earlier this week, shocking video footage showed several Afghani civilians, including a teenager footballer, falling to their death from a U.S. Air Force jet shortly after taking off from Kabul airport. The civilians clung on to the plane's landing gear in a desperate attempt to leave their country as Taliban insurgents seized control of the capital.
'Kabul Skydiving Club Est. 2021'
Days after the tragic incident, several online retailers, including Etsy and other online clothing stores, started selling t-shirts depicting silhouettes of two people plummeting from a military aircraft. The tee was emblazoned with the caption, "Kabul Skydiving Club Est. 2021."
"Featuring the scene of the plane flying in the sky and suddenly, there are two people falling from it, the Kabul Skydiving Club Shirt is officially becoming a phenomenon and goes viral on the Internet after that!," read the t-shirt's description on TShirtAtLowPrice.com. The t-shirt was being sold in several different colors and sizes on the website.
Backlash on Social Media
Although Etsy was hosting a third-party seller that was selling the clothing on its website, social media users criticized the retailer for allowing the seller to market the product on its platform and profit from a human tragedy.
"Hey @Etsy why do you allow sellers to sell inhumane products like this making fun of people dying? How do I report this seller?" wrote one Twitter user.
"This is disgusting. Not even a week and @etsy allows for the terror the US caused to be profited over w shirts.. mocking the deaths of Afghans desperately and humiliatingly attempted to flee Afghanistan by clenching onto an aircraft, falling to their deaths. @etsy you're disgusting," an Instagram user wrote. Here are some the social media posts:
Although Etsy has not yet released a statement to address the controversy, the t-shirts are no longer available for purchase on the website.