Florida State has apologized for one of their accounts tweeting an incredibly bone-headed graphic of MLK positioned to look like he’s throwing the school’s signature tomahawk gesture with a photoshopped Nike branded glove fitted on his hand.
The, now deleted, tweet came from the school’s football recruiting account (Seminoles Recruiting @FSU_Recruiting) with the caption “Happy MLK day! #GoNoles #DoSomething #MLK2019.”
It’s incredible that, somehow, this idea was a kernel in someone’s brain that was passed on to another person and approved by several more people after that. It doesn’t take a PR genius to figure out how immensely dense this decision was.
The obvious takeaway is that SOMETHING about this image is in pretty poor taste; what’s less obvious is WHY it feels that way.
I know some gas-bag is bound to play the race card but I won’t understand why because this isn’t necessarily derogatory toward black Americans; you’d have to go through some mental gymnastics to convince yourself to this conclusion.
There’s something inherently disgusting and sleazy about marketing and advertising. All advertising is disingenuous because we all know it’s all a coy to get you to separate yourself from your money.
It’s also incredibly pretentious to make your product tangible to the work of historical icons. Apple, prior to their release of the iMac, had a campaign that included commercials and posters of figures such as Cesar Chavez, Gandhi, and MLK with the tag “Think Different” along with the Apple logo. Today, Apple has dipped their hand in the same ilk by launching a similar campaign titled “Behind the Mac” with a commercial that features celebrities and prominent cultural figures such as Malala Yousafzai.
This tone-deaf post painfully checked all of these boxes. There’s nothing wrong with honoring historical figures like MLK to show that your business is thoughtful, but don’t try to use them to market your fucking team.