The UCF athletic department apologized for making an “unintended reference” on social media Thursday during the Golden Knights 56-6 win over Kent State.
During UCF’s dominant win, its social media team posted a photo of quarterback John Rhys Plumlee on the phone while on the sidelines, with the caption “SOMEONE CALL THE NATIONAL GUARD.”
While the post was in reference of NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe’s infamous moment in 1996 when the Denver Broncos were dominating the New England Patriots − and he pretended to call the president to send in the National Guard − it was also an ill-timed tweet considering who the opponent was.
On May, 4 1970, Kent State students were protesting the Vietnam War when the Ohio National Guard was called onto campus. As the protest continued after the arrival of armed forces, the National Guard began firing into the crowd, killing four students and wounding nine more, as the shooting was heavily criticized nationally as the protests for the war began to increase.
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UCF apologizes for National Guard tweet
UCF acknowledged in a statement to USA TODAY Sports it meant to reference Sharpe’s sideline moment, but learned it also made an “unintended reference” to the Kent State shooting.
“An unfortunate post was made with the intention to reference the famous Shannon Sharpe sideline clip of him on the phone from a 1996 game against the New England Patriots,” the athletic department said. “As soon as our staff was made aware of the unintended reference to the unfortunate event that took place at Kent State in 1970, the post was removed. It was addressed with our staff immediately, and updated protocols have been put in place to avoid a situation like this in the future.
“Vice President and Director of Athletics Terry Mohajir has apologized to Kent State Director of Athletics Randale L. Richmond.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: UCF apologizes for National Guard social media post against Kent State