The attempt by the University of Missouri’s athletic department to contribute to the NCAA’s inclusion week backfired so hard that it was forced to delete its tweet and apologize.
According to the Riverfront Times’ report on Wednesday, the now-deleted tweet from Mizzou Athletics featured four student athletes with words that were intended to celebrate how they are “more than a student athlete.”
The tweet was met with backlash when it became apparent that there were glaring differences in the messages that accompanied white and black student athletes.
While the two photos featuring white women contain career-driven statements such as “I am a future doctor” and “I am a future corporate financer,” the other two photos with black student athletes state more of the obvious and fail to mention their career paths: “I am an African American woman” and “I am a brother.”
Oh no Mizzou, baby what is you doing? pic.twitter.com/RoyeTX8MmN
— NUFF (@nuffsaidny) October 24, 2019
The Riverfront Times also noted that a photo of a black “Ticket Office Assistant,” according to Mizzou’s website, only shows the statement: “I value equality.”
Hours after the tweet was posted, Mizzou Athletics deleted it and issued an apology Wednesday night in response to the uproar over its tone-deafness.
“Earlier we made a mistake when we posted a graphic about our student athletes,” the tweet read with a video indicating that the statements in the now-deleted tweet were lifted out of context from the actual statements that the student athletes gave. “We apologize. Our intent was to provide personal information about our students, but we failed.”
Watch Mizzou Athletics’ apology below:
Earlier we made a mistake when we posted a graphic about our student athletes. We apologize. Our intent was to provide personal information about our students, but we failed. We listened and removed the post. This video better represents our intent to celebrate our diversity. pic.twitter.com/dVZjrLZ254
— Mizzou Athletics (@MizzouAthletics) October 24, 2019