A man attempting to raise awareness for conservation efforts for the white and blue marlin designed T-shirts with the slogans “White Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” — both with a drawing of an upside-down fish on the front. But complaints soon rolled in after the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) called to express their outrage.
The designer of the shirts expressed his shock that anyone would be upset with his campaign to raise awareness for the fish and insisted that anyone looking at them would find the message obvious.
“The response has been mostly positive,” George Lamplugh of the White Marlin Marina told the Delmarva Daily Times of Salisbury, Maryland. “Any person who sees the shirt and sees that flag will know what it’s for.”
“Any fisherman will know that the upside down marlin flag means we are catching and releasing,” Lamplugh explained further. “That’s what that symbol means, and I believe people know that. As soon as we bring in the first black marlin, we’ll have a Black Lives Matter shirt.”
“We’re promoting people to use circle hooks, to bring them in safely and to release them back,” Lamplugh added.
A local fisherman agreed that the shirts should be no big deal.
“I wore mine down the boardwalk last night,” boat captain Ted Deppe said. “No one came up to me or said anything, so I don’t see what’s the big deal.”
Still, a representative of the NAACP was not amused at all by the shirts.
Worcester County NAACP president Ivory Smith told the media, “…we’re living in a time where African-Americans are suffering from a disproportionate amount of violence, and we do need to address that.”
In a thinly-veiled threat, Smith also said he “wouldn’t be surprised if someone wearing these shirts got punched in the face.”
Still, Smith agreed that all lives matter, “whether they’re white or black, cop or civilian, fish or dog.”
Regardless, Lamplugh said people today need to take a breath.
“At what point do we start getting offended? Where is the line?” Lamplugh told the paper. “At the end of the day, people are way too sensitive today.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.