A tone-deaf T-shirt went viral today depicting two stick figures falling out of a plane with no parachutes under the words “Kabul Skydiving Club.”
The T-shirt appears to be mocking the recent events in Kabul, Afghanistan this week, when multiple Afghans who had been clinging to to the side of a plane, in an attempt to flee the Taliban, reportedly fell to their deaths as the aircraft took off.
The insensitive T-shirt, sold on off-brand clothing stores online such as TShirtatLowPrice.com and Tee4Sport, is especially shocking following reports of a family mourning the loss of their 17-year-old son, who was found dead after falling off one of the carrier planes.
A static YouTube video of a model wearing the “Kabul Skydiving Club” T-shirt was featured as part of the sale with the description: “For those who are into Parachuting, skydiving, those who love jumping from the airplane to experience the highest mood, this shirt is totally suitable to wear!”
“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!,” the shocking description read.
In an attempt to humanize the insensitive design, the seller quite incoherently wrote that they were, “truly heartbroken and empathetic with the horrifying death of 2 people falling from the plane, and it was a shock when the rest of the world understand how the people of Afghanistan are facing the situation over there.”
“The shirt originally does have its own meaning in the political aspect,” the seller confusingly added, “but in the end, it depends on how you feel about it!”
For a time, the shirt was even being sold on the popular online shopping platform Etsy before the website was alerted to its presence and took the shirt down. Speaking with Yahoo! News, a spokesperson from Etsy said that they, “promised to monitor for additional listings of the same design,” and that “such sales breached Etsy’s rules on violent items, including those that glorify human suffering or tragedies.”
“As Afghans are fleeing and clinging to planes out of desperation, someone decided to capitalize on their pain and misery with this repulsive t-shirt,” Holly Dagres, an Iranian American senior fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank, posted on Twitter. “It’s being sold on at least half a dozen t-shirt printing websites right now. Humans can be so cruel.”
“People are creating memes on Afghans’ situation and my mutuals are liking the tweet,” Twitter user Suman Sidhu complained, utterly shocked by the image of the T-shirt. “How is someone’s tragedy funny for you?”
Yesterday, a video surfaced of a man clinging to one of the aircraft carriers attempting to help evacuate those trying to flee the country from Taliban rule.
Chief International correspondent Clarissa Ward stated that the images, “speak to the desperation of how petrified an individual has to be to risk everything and just try to physically crush yourself onto the outside of an airplane.”
In the hard-to-watch footage, two Afghan citizens were seen falling off a plane in the distance as they remained clinging to the U.S. plane for some time even after it took off into the sky.
Another U.S. cargo plane went viral for its image of over 640 Afghan citizens waiting inside to be carried away from Taliban rule.
Unlike Etsy, some of the T-shirt websites, which also sell equally uncomfortable shirts such as a “vaccinated And ready to f***” T-shirt, have not yet commented on the “Kabul Skydiving Club” merchandise up for sale.