A Chicago-based T-shirt company came under fire today for selling “Chicago Stronger” shirts, mocking the “Boston Strong” phrase that has become a symbol of healing and unity since the attacks in April.
When this company started to get flack for the shirts, they posted a rambling, mean-spirited half-apology, saying that they were justified in their use of “Chicago Stronger” because “Boston Strong” is commercial and just used to sell hats.
A couple points.
1. Even if #BostonStrong has become commercialized, then doesn’t SELLING T-SHIRTS mocking the so-called “commercialization” make them a bunch of hypocrites?
2. Sports in Boston run incredibly deep. They mock the fact that the Bruins or Red Sox ‘B’s are incorporated into the #BostonStrong merch– but that’s because they really do mean something. Our sports teams represent our history. Our culture. Our families. Our friendships. When the Sox didn’t win a World Series for 86 years, that created a bond that was passed down from generation to generation. Boston’s recent sports success is shared on a very personal level all throughout New England. So yes, #BostonStrong IS acceptable to use when talking about sports, because our sports ARE Boston Strong.
When David Ortiz had a hitting streak go into twenty-something games, he did it for the people of Boston. Every player on The Sox and the Bruins have the the people of this city, and especially those hurt and killed in April, on their minds during every hit, run, save, and goal.
So maybe they just don’t get it. Or maybe they live in such a nasty, cynical world that you think it’s okay to mock a symbol of a rebuilding city and state. But either way, they are just so wrong. The Bruins ARE Boston Strong. They can get over themselves.
Go Bruins. Boston Strong.