Using holidays to tie into a piece of social media content has been the norm for years around college football and beyond. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is no exception. However, somebody behind the scenes of Florida State’s official recruiting account on Twitter may have benefitted from thinking twice about putting out a graphic to celebrate the holiday in honor of the great civil rights leader.
Basing a piece of art around Florida State’s “Do Something” motto and featuring an image of MLK Jr. could have been executed a bit better than the way it was on Monday. The official Twitter account for Florida State’s recruiting efforts slapped a wide receiver’s glove on the right hand of Martin Luther King Jr. in a way that made it look as though Dr. King was doing a tomahawk chop, the signature gesture for Florida State fans. A quote by Dr. King was printed below the FSU slogan.
the tweet was removed after approximately 45 minutes, but screencaps live forever.
How many people gave this tweet the green light before somebody actually got to hit the publish button on it? pic.twitter.com/gDNbdcXn8r
— Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) January 21, 2019
As you might imagine, this tweet was not received particularly well as it began making the rounds on Twitter.
— ODB (@OurDailyBears) January 21, 2019
My reaction to this tweet as an alum. Do better, dummies. pic.twitter.com/JVM5dTArDl
— Bill (@duvalbill) January 21, 2019
I get chills every time I think about the time MLK did the tomahawk chop at the lincoln memorial
— Ramzy Nasrallah (@ramzy) January 21, 2019
they really put a receiver's glove on him
run a dig route Martin and be sure to break it off at the sticks
— BUM CHILLUPS AKA SPENCER HALL (@edsbs) January 21, 2019
— William Galloway (@Wm_Galloway) January 21, 2019
— MQ (@MychalQ) January 21, 2019
This is one of those ideas that must have sounded like a good idea at some point in the production process but should have been held to the drawing board in the brainstorming phase. How it was given a green light to proceed to the stage where the graphic is designed and then given the approval to be sent to Twitter is a bit mystifying. There is nothing inherently wrong with creating MLK-inspired graphics to share on a football Twitter account, but there are tasteful ways to go about it. This was not exactly one of those better designs. Since the tweet was removed, here’s hoping a lesson was learned not just by the Florida State social media team behind the graphic but others in and beyond the Florida State program paying attention to how it was received and handled.