'We've messed up big time' - Big Blue in hot water over controversial 'Water Polo Teacher's Pet' T-shirt

2020-01-07 14:24

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Popular South African gifting and clothing store Big Blue has come under fire after selling a controversial T-shirt which had the words "Water Polo Teacher's Pet" printed on the front.

The T-shirt was apparently sold over the festive season.

In a Facebook post, advocacy manager for Women and Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA) Luke Lamprecht called the franchise out and asked: "How do the Parktown and Bishops victims feel about now being made into 'pets'?"

Lamprechts was referring to the former Parktown Boys' High School assistant water polo coach who was found guilty of 144 counts of sexual assault and 12 counts of common assault in 2018, as well as a former Bishops Diocesan College teacher who allegedly engaged in acts of sexual misconduct with five pupils at the school.

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Images: Facebook/Luke Lamprecht

Lamprecht said he expressed "disbelief" when the T-shirt was brought to his attention and asked: "Was it Big Blue who designed it. If not, what would make them buy and stock this over the massive shopping frenzy over the festive season?"

Speaking on behalf of Big Blue, James Robertson said the T-shirts have been removed and destroyed.

"We've messed up big time… we absolutely do not condone or support any form of abuse.

"We unreservedly apologise to everybody," Robertson said.

He added: "To anybody who has purchased that T-shirt, they will be refunded and we will destroy the [T-shirt] as well. We regret every minute of this episode."

Robertson said the company would release a statement on the matter later on Tuesday.

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