Elizabeth Chuck, NBC News, May 14, 2016
An Alabama university has issued an apology after one of its sororities printed T-shirts with racist connotations that “repulsed” the school’s president.
The shirts were designed for the Alpha Delta Pi formal last month at Samford University in suburban Birmingham and depict a map of the state of Alabama containing several scenes–including a black man eating watermelon and a slave picking cotton. University officials said they rejected the design, but the shirts were produced anyway.
“Samford University apologizes for the offensive image that appeared on T-shirts,” the school said in a statement Friday. “This is completely inconsistent with the university’s mission and values. We are addressing the issue with our Alpha Delta Pi chapter and the international organization and with the vendor who produced the shirt.”
The sorority also apologized, and the chapter president told NBC affiliate WVTM the sorority is “horrified” by the oversight.
“In selecting the T-shirt, we failed to focus on the specific images in the design,” Lauren Hammond said. “Had we recognized what the design details depicted, we would never have purchased the shirts.”