Walmart issues apology and pulls sexist clothing line aimed at female hockey fans

A line of women’s T-shirts with sexist and offensive descriptions has been pulled from Walmart Canada after receiving numerous complaints on Facebook.

Sauce Hockey women’s apparel. Image via Walmart Canada.

Sports apparel company Sauce Hockey is under fire for promoting their clothing using sexually suggestive and derogatory comments towards women.

The product descriptions, which read like a proposal for a hockey-themed porno, are all based around the premise of seeing female fans as sexual objects, eager to bed hockey players. One product description even suggests women are so desperate to have sex with players they would enjoy a golden shower.

The Stage 5 Clinger Tee by Sauce Hockey that was included on Walmart Canada’s website. Image via Walmart Canada.

The disgusting copy was created in 2010 by Sauce Hockey, and has been sold to Walmart Canada by a third party supplier for close to a year.

Intended for women, shirt descriptions such as the Road Bunny’s Women’s Burnout suggests that the shirt should be best worn by the woman who’s “more interested in the visiting team coming to town, because there’s fresh faces and more hockey players to creep on.”

All parties associated with the sale of the offensive Sauce Hockey apparel are backpeddling from the descriptions and pleading ignorance.

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“We sincerely apologize for any unintended offense this has caused our customers,” Walmart Canada spokesperson Anika Malik said in an email. “The descriptions accompanying these tees do not represent Walmart’s values and have no place on our site.”

Sauce Hockey Tree Hugger Women’s T-Shirt description. Image via Walmart Canada.

Merchandise was sold to Walmart Canada by a Montreal-based sports apparel company, IceJerseys. Although Walmart Canada’s representative ensures there is a “checks and balances” for its third party suppliers, Malik says the company is now reviewing the process.

Jared Shapransky, vice-president of marketing for IceJerseys says he is surprised to learn of the offensive copy, but admits that the product descriptions supplied by Sauce Hockey weren’t read by IceJersey’s before they were posted to the Walmart Canada website.

“Golden shower? Like, I can’t believe that. I’m honestly speechless,” Shapransky said. “I’m sorry if anyone was offended by this. It’s just an unfortunate oversight that we will be rectifying immediately.”

Although a significant oversight by all parties, Shapransky says that the uploading of descriptions to Walmart Canada was due to technology.

“It’s an automated process,” he said. “Which explains how this vile copy got past us.”

Former NHL player, Paul Bissonnette. Image via Getty Images.

Former NHL player, Paul Bissonette, previously held stake in the company when the line was launched. Although he parted ways with Sauce Hockey three years ago, the Canadian has issued an apology regarding the matter.

I realize that some of the company’s references used [with] T-shirts in 2010 were offensive to women and I sincerely apologize for that,” Bissonette said in a statement. “I was young and immature but I’ve moved on and I in no way support those references now.”

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Darryl Jones says that he and current investors had no knowledge of the product descriptions when they took over the company in 2015.

It’s offensive and sexist. There’s no question,” Jones said. “I would never have approved this. There is no place in hockey for the type of sexist culture that is implied by these T-shirt descriptions.”

Jones and the rest of the current team at Sauce Hockey are scrambling to correct their predecessor’s wrong doings, and say they will remove the descriptions from all websites and the company has offered to buy back and destroy the line of female merchandise from other retailers.

The company has also posted an apology to the group of women on social media who came forward to complain about the descriptions.

It’s baffling and almost laughable to imagine including women in on their own objectification as a profitable marketing strategy.

There’s the saying, “When you know better, you do better.”

Sauce Hockey, Walmart Canada and IceJerseys all need to do much, much, better.

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