Like many NBA clubs and players around the league, the Lakers did their part in using the team’s official Twitter account to post a “never forget” message in commemoration of the attacks on September 11, 2001.
The picture was of Kobe Bryant, and featured the patch worn on his jersey in remembrance of the tragic event, with the #NEVERFORGET hashtag in bold white letters just above it.
It wasn’t very well-received, some saying it was in bad taste because the photo focused on Kobe/Lakers and not the event, some people believing it was a weak attempt at humor based on Bryant’s hair style at the time. So the team ended up deleting the tweet, and Lakers spokesman John Black issued an apology.
From Sam Amick of USA Today:
“We apologize to anyone who took this differently than we intended and were therefore offended by it,” Lakers spokesman John Black said in an e-mail. “We used a photo of how we commemorated 9/11 in the 2001-02 season, shortly after the tragedy occurred, because we wanted to show our support of what we felt at that time and continue to feel now. Out of respect for the intensely personal nature of how people remember this day, and that we recognize that not everyone understood the intent of our message, we pulled down our tweet and photo. Ultimately, our intent was to honor the spirit of remembering a day that we should all never forget.”
It seems like people look for reasons to be offended by things they see on the Internet, rather than taking two seconds to realize that a multi-billion dollar corporation (the NBA) would never, ever try to use something like 9/11 to make even the smallest attempt at a joke on a day like this.
If anyone found reason to be offended by this photo, then the feeling was inferred — it certainly wasn’t implied by that picture. With that being said, the team did the right thing by taking it down and issuing an apology simply due to the sensitivity involved with this day.