NFLShop temporarily bans custom ‘Harambe’ jerseys, but they’re back
Though Harambe is gone, the internet refuses to let his memory die.
The public was outraged after the death of the western lowland gorilla, who was shot and killed at the Cincinnati Zoo after grabbing a 4-year-old boy and dragging him across his exhibit. Now, the internet wants to memorialize Harambe by slapping his name on the back of NFL jerseys.
After a high demand for custom Harambe jerseys in the online store, the NFL Shop temporarily banned Harambe order requests.
Luckily for all the Harambe-loving football fans out there, the ban has been lifted.
According to ESPNs Darren Rovell, the football league recently blocked the ability to customize jerseys with the name “Harambe” on its web site.
NFLShop now blocks fans wanting to get a HARAMBE nameplate on jerseys.
Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 14, 2016
In response to Rovell’s tweet, the official Twitter account for the New Orleans Saints replied to confirm the news and included a screenshot of the online store and a #RIPHarambe hashtag.
The screenshot shows an attempt to customize a Saints jersey with “Harambe” and an error message which reads, ” We are unable to customize this item with the text you have entered. Please try a different entry again.”
According to ESPN, the Cincinnati Zoo contacted Fanatics, which runs the online retail for four major North American sports leagues. A Fanatics spokesman, Meier Raivich, explained that an employee added “Harambe” to the banned words list, but after the topic began to gain more traction, Fanatics officials decided it should be reinstated.
Since the ban lifted on Thursday morning, ESPN has confirmed that Harambe jersey sales are once again allowed in the NFLShop.