The brand Twitter account for the Las Vegas Raiders was unceremoniously shoved into the ranks of horrible social media meme misfires with a tone deaf tweet on Tuesday about the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.
The account posted a meme meant to signify that the nation could breathe again after the former Minneapolis police officer was found guilty for the murder of George Floyd, who died while being arrested.
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Las Vegas Raiders)1618961446.0
“I can breathe,” the tweet read, with the date of the verdict.
The attempt to garner woke approval instead turned into a public relations nightmare as the tweet was assailed by those on the right and the left of the issue.
“The fact that there were MEETINGS that went into approving this graphic and y’all made it your pinned tweet shows you gotta have the most tone deaf social media staff on the planet,” responded Tyler Conway of the Bleacher Report.
Some pointed out that the phrase, “I can breathe,” was used by pro-police protesters as a counter to the “I can’t breathe” slogan used by Black Lives Matter activists.
“Oh no raiders, what are you doing,” tweeted sports writer Chris Herring.
“Politicians and companies are really setting new galactic records in magnitude of s****y reactions today,” responded video game designer Josh Sawyer.
“So many opportunities to say nothing are being missed today,” tweeted Desiree Stennett, the race and inequality writer for the Orlando Sentinel.
“I’ve seen a lot of bad tweets on this app but this might be first-ballot Hall of Fame worthy,” joked Baltimore Sun writer Daniel Oyefusi.
Raiders owner Mark Davis confirmed later to a reporter that he had originated the tweet after hearing a family member of George Floyd say the phrase.
“That’s my tweet. That was me. I don’t want anyone in the organization taking heat. I take full responsibility for that,” he said.
“If I offended the family, then I’m deeply, deeply disappointed,” he added, but said the tweet would not be deleted.
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