Bullzerk’s Free Zeke tees selling out, but not everyone approves

DALLAS -- Genesis Women's Shelter isn't having it with the newest in Cowboys fashion, Bullzerk's 'Free Zeke' tees.

"We were never contacted by the company about their plans and are not accepting any funds as a result of this campaign," Genesis Shelter's Bianca Jackson told NewsFix Saturday.

Those are strong words from a shelter that has accepted money from the family-owned Dallas business multiple times, as recently as two months ago.

So how did we get to the point of one respected Dallas group condemning a shirt made by another?

Let's rewind.

Cowboys Running Back Ezekiel Elliott was suspended by the NFL Friday for six games. Just hours later, Bullzerk released a shirt with a motto just like many others we see with celebrities who get in trouble, Free Zeke.

The hashtag was out there, 'Boys fans were mad, and Bullzerk wanted to serve those angry customers.

"They've been begging for a Zeke shirt, and their reactions toward it are what spurred the shirt on," Bullzerk's Lynsie Holt told NewsFix.

We're in touchy territory on this one, though. The reason for the suspension was last summer's domestic violence accusation by Elliott's ex-girlfriend, Tiffany Thompson. While the D.A. chose not to try the case because of lack of reliable evidence, the NFL found enough to warrant the suspension.

Bullzerk said the reaction was 60% positive, but some social media hate began to flow for the Dallas company over the newest design.

"It's something that we don`t take lightly," Holt said about the accusations they were capitalizing on a domestic violence situation. "We want everyone to understand that it's all in jest. We're trying to bring light to a dark thing."

Once orders started to fly in, Bullzerk decided to give 20 percent of the proceeds to Genesis, making the announcement on its Twitter account. It's not the first time they've done something like this. They raised more than $30,000 for Assist the Officer last year through sales of a 'Dallas United' shirt.

This time, though, the shelter told NewsFix they don't want the money.

"We do not support the message this shirt sends about the seriousness of domestic violence and our responsibility to help end this epidemic," part of the Genesis statement said.

The full statement from Genesis Women's Shelter on Bullzerk's 'Free Zeke' shirt.

Bullzerk said they understand not everyone will want the shirt, and if you hate it, donate to Genesis on your own.

"That is a great organization to pour into," Holt said.

Politically correct has never been part of Bullzerk's philosophy, but when you're a company that toes the line you just have to remember that the line's in a different place for each person.