Joining in with most every other major organization, sports franchise or business, the Los Angeles Lakers tweeted a seemingly innocuous picture with a message of #NeverForget to remember Sept. 11, 2001.
Except people on the Internet took offense to it.
The picture, as you can see above, features Kobe Bryant with a commemorative ribbon patch on his jersey that was worn by all teams after the 9/11 attack. But some apparently thought the tweet was a tongue-in-cheek joke about Kobe's hair or something and decided the Lakers did something offensive.
Because of it, they deleted the tweet and issued a statement apologizing for it. Via 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."
Sept. 11 is obviously a very sensitive, somber day that requires a lot of reflection and remembrance. But it also creates an opportunity for hypersensitivity and the never-ending hunt for things perceived as offensive.
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.
But the Lakers did the wise thing by just canning any controversy by deleting the tweet and apologizing before it became a bigger deal than it already was.