Major hat brands cut ties with a Nashville shop over the weekend, continuing fallout after the store announced on social media that it was selling yellow Star of David-shaped patches emblazoned with the all-caps message: NOT VACCINATED.
The Tennessee Holler flagged the original social media post on Friday.
NASHVILLE — Hatworks is literally selling Jewish stars that say “Not Vaccinated” — out here making MTG look tame
[email protected] (615) 678-5690 pic.twitter.com/11fN9eS5gX
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) May 28, 2021
By Saturday, the outrage had grown loud enough that major hat brands decided to jump ship.
“As a result of the offensive content and opinions shared by HatWRKS in Nashville, Stetson and our distribution partners will cease the sale of all Stetson products,” the company wrote on Twitter. “We thank you for your continued support and patience.”
“Due to the recent offensive content shared by Hatwrks in Nashville, Goorin Bros. has ended their distribution with this business effective immediately,” the hatmaker said on Instagram, adding: “Goorin Bros is horrified by the display and selling of the Jewish badge by HatWRKS, a store in Nashville Tennessee, that sells some of our hats.”
The HatWRKS instagram account posted a first-person apology on Saturday, seemingly from store owner Gigi Gaskins.
“In NO WAY did i intend to trivialize the Star of David or disrespect what happened to millions of people,” it read. “My hope was to share my genuine concern & fear, and to do all that i can to make sure that nothing like that ever happens again.”
She previously defended the store’s selling of the patches, asking why people were angrier at her post than at “the tyranny the world is experiencing.”
Some protesters demonstrated outside the store over the weekend, hanging up a banner reading: “no Nazis in Nashville!”
The incident comes on the heels of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) comparing the House’s mask policy to the Holocaust.
“You know, we can look back at a time in history when people were told to wear a gold star, and they were definitely treated like second-class citizens, so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany,” Greene said during an interview. “And this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) finally responded to her comments days later, calling the comparison “appalling.”
Greene, a freshman in the House, has already been stripped of her committee assignments after some of her social media posts seemingly threatening Democratic members of Congress surfaced earlier this year. Democrats forced the vote to remove her from the committees after McCarthy announced that he wouldn’t punish her.