A sports bag sold on Amazon appeared to contain an image of a child with tape stuck over his or her mouth, according to online shoppers.

According to screenshots taken by customers, the image of the child appears in a product image showing the inside of a zipper pocket of an NFL Dallas Cowboys sling bag sold by a seller listed as The Northwest Company.

Shoppers were shocked to see the image, which they assumed represented an endorsement of child trafficking.

“I clicked on the link and that’s when I found the photos,” said Amazon user Laura Harper, according to the Daily Mail.

“I screenshotted and posted them to the Amazon Facebook page, wanting an explanation and within ten minutes, the photo in question had been removed and the product was listed as ‘unavailable’.”

“I was disgusted,” she added. “There’s a few conspiracy theories but I think it must be a very sick joke.”

Another Amazon customer asked the company, “Explain why there is a child with a taped mouth in this pack back?”

The Northwest Company later released a statement claiming the image showed a magazine cover inside the backpack.

“The image portrayed in images of the Leadoff Sling Backpack is not an image of a child,” reads a statement from CEO Ross Auerbach. “The image is that of a Magazine Cover. The image – acquired by Northwest when it purchased the backpack division from Concept One Inc. – depicts a magazine cover that was digitally placed inside the backpack to give the illusion of the bag with contents inside it.”

“After an internal review of the images acquired from Concept One by Northwest, we determined to discontinue use of this particular image. Northwest is in the process of removing the image from all depictions of the Leadoff Sling Backpack, and we sincerely apologise for any offence this particular image caused our customers and anyone who viewed it.”

“Northwest is a family-owned and managed company. We strongly and unequivocally condemn human trafficking in any form. Northwest is a proud supporter of Amnesty International, the Polaris Project, and many other organisations dedicated to eradicating human rights abuses.”

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