Fred Perry stops selling black and yellow PB polo shirts after brand adopted by far-right Proud Boys

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Fred Perry has announced that he will stop selling one of his iconic polo shirts after it is adopted as the unofficial uniform of a far-right group.

The famous fashion label won’t be shipping its black and yellow PB tops to Canada and North America for long.

The move is a response to the £ 65 polo shirt adopted by the far-right group ‘Proud Boys’, whose members are regularly seen wearing tops during its marches and protests.

The British clothing maker said it was “incredibly frustrating” that the far-right group, which believes white men and Western values ​​are “under siege”, was “taken over” by the Proud Boys.

In a statement, the brand said, “Fred Perry does not endorse and is in no way affiliated with the Proud Boys.

Fred Perry has announced that he will stop selling one of his iconic polo shirts after it is adopted as the unofficial uniform of the far-right group the Proud Boys (Pictured: Members wearing the polo shirts)

The famous fashion label won't be shipping its black and yellow PB tops to Canada and North America for long. Pictured: The official website has already changed to reflect the announcement

The famous fashion label won’t be shipping its black and yellow PB tops to Canada and North America for long. Pictured: The official website has already changed to reflect the announcement

The British clothing maker said in a statement (part of which is pictured here) that it was `` incredibly frustrating '' that the far-right group, which believes white men and Western values ​​are `` under siege was `` appropriated '' by the proud. Boys

The British clothing maker said in a statement (part of which is pictured here) that it was “incredibly frustrating” that the far-right group, which believes white men and Western values ​​are “under siege,” been “appropriated” by the proud. Boys

“It’s incredibly frustrating that this group has appropriated our black / yellow / yellow double ended shirt and subverted our laurel wreath for their own purposes.

Who are the Proud Boys and why did they adopt Fred Perry as their uniform?

The Proud Boys are a right-wing group founded in 2016 by Canadian writer and political commentator Gavin McInnes, co-founder of Vice Magazine.

The group has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center in America.

However, Mr McInnes, who distanced himself from the group in 2018, previously rejected this classification, saying the group was “not an extremist group and [does] have no ties to white nationalists ”.

Instead, the group claims it is only broadcasting an “anti-political correction” and “anti-white guilt” program.

The members adopted black and yellow Fred Perry polo shirts, especially those with “PB” on them, which correspond to the group’s initials, as their unofficial uniform.

The group has rallied in Portland, Oregon on several occasions in recent years and attracts large crowds who show up to oppose their presence in the liberal city.

In the most recent, around 1,000 people gathered at the Proud Boys rally in Delta Park on Saturday.

The Proud Boys clashed with Facebook earlier this year, when the social media giant announced its removal. nearly 900 accounts linked to two far-right groups whose members may have conspired to send armed agitators to the George Floyd protests.

The social media giant has removed accounts linked to Proud Boys and American Guard, both of which it considers hate groups.

The social media company, which also owns Instagram, said it deleted 358 Facebook accounts and 172 Instagram accounts connected to Proud Boys.

“The Fred Perry shirt is a British subcultural piece of uniform, adopted by various groups of people who recognize their own values ​​in what they represent.

“We are proud of his lineage and of what the laurel wreath has stood for for over 65 years: inclusiveness, diversity and independence.

The statement added: “The association [with Proud Boys] is something we have to do our best to put an end to it.

“So we made the decision to stop selling the Black / Yellow / Yellow Double Tip Shirt in the US from September 2019, and we will not be selling it there or in Canada again until we are not satisfied with the end of his association with the Proud Boys. .

“To be absolutely clear, if you see any Proud Boys materials or products featuring our laurel wreath or items related to black / yellow / yellow, they have absolutely nothing to do with us, and we are working with our lawyers to prosecute any illegal use. of our brand. ‘

The latest statement comes after brand president John Flynn spoke about the association in 2017, saying the group’s ideals are “against our beliefs.”

The Proud Boys, founded in 2016, have been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center in America.

However, the group’s founder, Canadian writer and political commentator Gavin McInnes, co-founder of Vice Magazine, rejected this classification, saying the group is “not an extremist group and [does] have no ties to white nationalists ”.

Instead, the group claims it is only broadcasting an “anti-political correction” and “anti-white guilt” program.

Mr McInnes officially distanced himself from the group in 2018, stepping down as chairman.

The group has rallied around Portland, Oregon on several occasions in recent years and attracts large crowds who show up to oppose their presence in the liberal city.

In the most recent, around 1,000 people gathered at the Proud Boys rally in Delta Park on Saturday, while a group of 500 left-wing counter-protesters gathered in nearby Peninsula Park, raising fears of clashes.

However, police say the groups dispersed widely without serious violence – although they are investigating allegations of assault by a person documenting the rally.

Supporters of a rally in August last year were photographed with stickers reading “Antifa Hunting Group,” in reference to the self-proclaimed anti-fascism group.

Members of the Proud Boys are also believed to have participated in the white supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The group has rallied in Portland, Oregon several times in recent years and has drawn large crowds who show up to oppose their presence in the liberal city.

The group has rallied around Portland, Oregon on several occasions in recent years and attracts large crowds who show up to oppose their presence in the liberal city.

The group has rallied in Portland, Oregon several times in recent years and has drawn large crowds who show up to oppose their presence in the liberal city.

The group has rallied in Portland, Oregon several times in recent years and has drawn large crowds who show up to oppose their presence in the liberal city.

Fred Perry: The clothing brand began as a tennis icon who became synonymous with “Mod” culture

Founded by Wimbledon champion Fred Perry, the fashion label, which bears his name, has been adopted by various British subcultures since its inception.

The brand started with tennis shirts launched at the Wimbledon tournament in 1952 with immediate success.

The clothing maker then added a colorful version for table tennis – where white clothing is not allowed.

These polo shirts became popular with the Mod subculture during the 1960s.

The mods eventually split into different groups, including a more working class-focused subculture known as skinheads.

Skinheads originally spoke out against fascism and many described themselves as apolitical – focusing instead on tastes of class and music.

However, the group split in the 1970s as a small number of its members shifted to the far right.

The clothing brand is still to this day synonymous with Mod culture – along with other cultural icons such as the Lambretta scooter and power rock bands such as The Who.

The Proud Boys clashed with Facebook earlier this year, when the social media giant announced it had deleted nearly 900 accounts linked to two far-right groups whose members may have plotted to send armed agitators to the George Floyd protests.

The social media giant has removed accounts linked to Proud Boys and American Guard, both of which it considers hate groups.

The social media company, which also owns Instagram, said it deleted 358 Facebook accounts and 172 Instagram accounts connected to Proud Boys.

They also deleted 406 Facebook accounts and 164 Instagram accounts connected to American Guard.

“In both cases, we have seen accounts from both organizations discussing participation in protests in various US states with plans to carry weapons, but we have not found any indication of their content on the platform. -form that they planned to actively commit violence, ”the company said.

The Proud Boys’ use of Fred Perry isn’t the first time the fashion label has been adopted by groups.

The fashion label, founded by Wimbledon champion Fred Perry in 1952, has been adopted by various British subcultures since its inception.

He has long been associated with the Skinheads, who originally denounced fascism.

However, the group split in the 1970s as a small number of its members shifted to the far right.

The decision to post his recent statement on Proud Boys was praised by many on Twitter, including one user, who tweeted, “I’ll be wearing a Fred Perry today – love the mod, the ska culture – the fashion, music, etc.

“Let’s go back to the days when the iconic polo shirt was for all subcultures and was not associated with racism. “

However, others disagreed. One Twitter user said: “I’ve been a customer for decades and that’s such a stupid and meaningless statement.

“Yes PBs are pretty rude but they are definitely not racist.

“The polo shirt was worn by other groups who had fragmentary associations and that didn’t hurt the brand. That either.

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