Walmart takes down T-shirt about killing journalists

Walmart takes down T-shirt about killing journalists

Visitors to Walmart's website could purchase a shirt calling for violence against journalists, up until the retail giant took the shirt down on Thursday.

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“Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required," the back of the shirt available on their website read, a reference to hanging journalists.

The shirt was only removed from Walmart’s website after the Radio Television Digital News Association sent a letter to the retailer about the shirt, according to the group.

The shirt made headlines last year when a Trump supporter was spotted wearing it at a Trump rally in Minnesota days before the 2016 election.  

“As a fierce proponent of the First Amendment that is politically nonpartisan, we recognize Walmart’s right to sell the T-Shirts, and the right of consumers to purchase and wear them,” the group's executive director Dan Shelley wrote in his letter to the retailer. “However, just because Walmart has the right to sell the shirts, that doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do.”

Within five hours of Shelley sending his letter to Walmart, the company removed the shirt from its site, according to the association.

Walmart explained that such products are not welcome on its website and said it would look into other items posted by the seller of the shirt.

"This item was sold by a third-party seller on our marketplace and clearly violates our policy," a Walmart spokesperson said. "We removed it as soon as it was brought to our attention, and are conducting a thorough review of the seller’s assortment."

The Radio Television Digital News Association's letter to Walmart noted that almost three dozen journalists in the U.S. have been physically assaulted in 2017, and that another 48 have been killed worldwide.

This story was updated at 5:55 p.m.