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Mitch McConnell, in addition to being the Senate Majority Leader, can now add “athleisure brand copywriter” to his resume. Just three days after McConnell silenced Senator Elizabeth Warren from reading a letter written by civil rights activist Coretta Scott King, Reebok has turned his words into a T-shirt.
During Senator Jeff Sessions’ confirmation as attorney general Tuesday night, Warren attempted to read King’s 1986 statement of opposition to Sessions’ federal judgeship. McConnell, however, silenced her on the grounds of Senate Rule XIX, which states that senators cannot use “any form of words [to] impute to another Senator… any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.”
Afterwards, McConnell defended himself thusly: “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”
It’s the latter third of his statement that has caught the internet into a memes-and-merch arms race, with T-shirts popping up on screen-printing websites like Redbubble, as well as Society6 and Etsy — there are literally thousands of them available right now.
Reebok’s T-shirt, however, is the first from a major brand to cash in on McConnell’s unintentional rallying cry. In a statement to Mic, Reebok’s senior director Dan Mazei said, "This is a unifying message that can inspire women everywhere from the Senate floor to the starting line of a marathon and everywhere in-between — all the places women have been obstructed from seeing through their ambitions. But, they persist."
The shirt, fittingly designed by a woman, is available now for $20, and with every purchase Reebok will donate $20 toward the organizers of the Women’s March. Due to high demand, the shirt won’t ship until February 21st, but you can pre-order it here.