Primark has pulled a range of t-shirts from its stores after a complaint that they were offensive and racist.
They showed Negan holding a bloodied baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire, which he uses to smash his victim’s heads to pieces, with the rhyme ‘Eeny, Meeny Miny, Moe’ written on it.
The killer, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan in the hit show about survivors of the zombie apocalypse, calls his bat Lucille and used it to kill long-standing favourites Glen and Abraham at the start of the most recent 7th season.
Before killing the pair, Negan – who leads a gang called The Saviours – decided on who to kill by pointing to his victims one-by-one with the baseball bat, while saying ‘eeny, meeny, miny, moe, catch a tiger by his toe’.
But after Sheffield couple Ian and Gwen Lucraft spotted the t-shirt in a Primark store in Sheffield last week, they complained to bosses that it was ‘offensive’.
Methodist minister Mr Lucraft said the ‘Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe’ rhyme was racist as it was well known that the rhyme went on to say ‘catch a n***er’ by his toe’.
He also said the bloodied bat was offensive, adding: ‘We were shocked when we came face to face with a new t-shirt with a racially explicit graphic and text.
‘It was fantastically offensive and I can only assume that no-one in the process of ordering it knew what they were doing or were aware of its subliminal messages.’
He said that ‘everyone knows’ the ‘Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe’ phrase continues with ‘catch a n*gger’ by his toe’, adding: ‘The graphic has a large American baseball bat, wrapped round with barbed wire, and covered with blood.
‘This image relates directly to the practice of assaulting black people in America.
‘It is directly threatening of a racist assault, and if I were black and were faced by a wearer I would know just where I stood.’
Mr Lucraft wrote a letter to Primark chief exec Paul Marchant asking him to remove the t-shirt from sale – and bosses decided to remove it after the complaint.
A spokesman for Primark confirmed the t-shirts are now being removed from all of its stores, adding: ‘The t-shirt in question is licensed merchandise for the U.S. television series, The Walking Dead, and the quote and image are taken directly from the show.
‘Any offence caused by its design was wholly unintentional and Primark sincerely apologises for this.’
The Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe counting rhyme has been around since the 18th century, with tiger replacing ‘n***er’ in more recent versions.