An online company is selling an unauthorized Chris Kyle t-shirt, and some people are not happy about it.
The t-shirt design, called “Confirmed Kills,” is offered by a website called Swing Tazzle and features the “Punisher skull” Kyle often sported and the phrase “The Devil of Ramadi” (a name given to Chris by the enemy while in Iraq). It also features 160 “slash” marks with the phrase “160 Confirmed,” a reference to his confirmed kills during his service. Finally, it has the phrase “RIP: 1974 – 2013.” Kyle’s actual name and likeness are not used, but the inference is clear.
The company is advertising the shirt on a Facebook page called “Devil of Ramadi Supporter,” but they have refused to answer a number of requests from us to specify whether the family of Chris Kyle or his foundation are receiving any proceeds from the sale of the shirt. Considering the fact that the Chris Kyle “Frog” Foundation already has a line of shirts that it sells to fund its charitable efforts, it is unlikely they would authorize a competing shirt. The company is advertising the t-shirt heavily to conservatives on Facebook, and their Facebook page has over 21,000 likes.
A number of Chris Kyle supporters are upset over Swing Tazzle’s attempt to capitalize on Chris Kyle’s memory, and have taken to the “Devil of Ramadi Supporter” Facebook page to protest, calling the company “scammers” and warning visitors to the page not to order. A Facebook user posted “I hope the Kyle family and Marvel (who owns the “Punisher skull” logo) goes after these people; it makes me sick.”
It should be noted that authorized Chris Kyle shirts, which sport a number of patriotic designs and Chris Kyle-inspired imagery, are available directly from The Chris Kyle “Frog” Foundation (an example of one of the authorized shirts is below). You can click here to see the official Chris Kyle shirts, with proceeds from their sale funding the efforts of the foundation.