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New York Cosmos Blackout Campaign Is Tasteless and Offensive to New Yorkers

The current sweltering weather conditions in New York City remind me a lot of 1977, especially the blackout of ’77 that sent the city into terror and mass hysteria. The looting, rioting and threat of the Son of Sam (David Berkowitz) created a terrifying time for anyone living in the city. And now, 34 years later, the New York Cosmos and Umbro have launched a very tacky and ill-timed collection that glorifies the Blackout.

To be frank, the new clothing line from Umbro and the New York Cosmos is tasteless and disgusting. They are calling it the “Blackout” line due to the horrific New York City Blackout that put New York into darkness in 1977. I was 4 at the time when it happened. Living in a section of the Bronx, it was far from the incidents. But it was close to the corner of E. 183rd St. and Morris Ave, where a building was intentionally set on fire. My parents, who had a hardware store, delivered to some of those buildings at that intersection.

If you look at the NY Times magazine blog, the two pictures of hooligans wearing Cosmos jerseys and/or jackets look like they’re ready to loot and pillage. The African American picture is racist, white the photo with the white man wearing a bandana over his face glorifies hooliganism. If this is what Paul Kemsley, Umbro and this new group is trying to promote, it’s sickening.

I am appalled at their decisions to sell clothes and to make a mockery of this horrible day in New York City history. They even opened their store and told someone to throw a brick and smash their window display on purpose.

I understand they want to celebrate the signing of Carlos Alberto, but do it in a classy way. Associating themselves with that terrible day is awful. It just boggles the mind how these people are making a mockery of this just to sell merchandize.


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