OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ/AP) — An Ocean City marina is selling T-shirts featuring the phrases “White Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” to spread awareness about the conservation of marlins.
The White Marlin Marina is selling two types of the shirts — one in honor of white marlins and another in honor of blue marlins.
Worcester County NAACP president Ivory Smith tells The Daily Times of Salisbury that the shirts could be interpreted as a mockery of the Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter movements. Those two phrases have been rallying cries following police shootings of African-Americans and shootings of police officers, respectively.
The designer of the shirts, employee George Lamplugh, says his shirts promote billfish conservation by featuring images of marlins on safe-release circle hooks, unlike Swagger Fishing, which sells “Kill Whitey” shirts and stickers promoting non-release white marlin fishing.
He says he has no intention of spurring controversy with the shirts, and that a portion of the sales are going toward billfish conservation efforts.
This comes ahead of the 43rd annual White Marlin Open tournament, which starts on August 8.
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