Florida State University will pursue any course of action to stop a sports merchandise company from making a T-shirt that bears the message, “Scalp ‘em!”–a reference to the FSU Seminoles’ victory in the 2013 College Football National Championship.
A spokesperson for FSU called the shirt “extremely derogatory” and “offensive,” to Native Americans. FSU’s football TEAM is ‘the Seminoles.’
“We would never license that shirt,” said Elizabeth Maryanski, vice president for university relations, in a statement.
FSU has asked its licensing company to investigate the matter and take any measure necessary to ensure the T-shirt passes out of production.
“This is an infringement issue, but even if it wasn’t, we would do everything in our power to shut it down,” she told The Daily Caller.
FSU holds the exclusive rights to publishing and producing Seminoles-related content, according to Maryanski. A spokesperson for the Seminole tribe told Indian Country Today that he opposed the production of the T-shirt on these grounds.
“The relationship between Florida State and the Seminole Tribe is one of mutual respect,” he said in a statement.
The newspaper referred to the T-shirt as “racist.”
Rob Fox, a writer for Total Frat Move – -which is owned by Grandex — cried hypocrisy.
Fox pointed out that the school’s sale of merchandise with the “scalp’em” phrase could be interpreted as hypocritical.
“Essentially what I’ve gathered from this whole thing is that, in Florida State’s view, it’s okay for Florida State to do and say certain things, but not outside parties. Is that fair?” he asked. “Would the Seminoles themselves agree? Possibly, and both could make a compelling case for this, but without any sort of explanation it comes off as quite hypocritical. Maybe embarrassingly so.”