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ESPN Apologizes for Use of Confederate Anthem

Courtesy of Deadspin

Courtesy of Deadspin

Danielle Perea, Staff Writer

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Sometimes, the best thing to do with a joke on the internet is to leave it alone. ESPN proved that when it tweeted a graphic that has been criticized for being insensitive on January 5th.

  The tweet originated in a another tweet by @CaptAndrewLuck, a parody account and one of the most popular football accounts on Twitter, that depicted  Colts quarterback Andrew Luck as a Civil War officer writing home to his mother.

   During Saturday’s broadcast of the Colts-Texans game, ESPN decided to reference the tweet in a graphic on Luck, showing some of his statistics. They started the graphic with good intentions, but ended up making what many felt were not the best of choices in the design.

  The graphic shows Luck as a Union general, surrounded by offensive linemen clad in both the blue and grey uniforms of the Union and Confederate armies.

  Just the visuals alone could be criticized. Many are calling ESPN’s decision to have both Confederate and Union soldiers as part of one army historically inaccurate considering the Civil War was fought between the two.

  Things take a turn for the worse when the song “Dixie” begins playing in the background of the graphic. The song, which has even stopped being played by colleges such as Ole Miss, has strong connections to racism and slavery as it was used as the Confederate anthem during the Civil War.

  As a result of these connections, many view the graphic as not only racially insensitive but historically inaccurate. Not only was Luck born in Washington, D.C., Indiana, the home state of the Colts, was a Union state in the Civil War.

  Many think ESPN should have thought before they tweeted the graphic. Izel Arambula (10) said, “I get that ESPN wants to stay relevant, and with a situation like this that seems pretty popular I understand why they jumped on that. But they really should have considered what they were getting themselves into when designing the graphic.”

  Lily Mihailovic (10) said, “They should have known better, and they should have had more people look at it before the final version was published. That’s just irresponsible.”

  ESPN has since apologized for their actions. Spokesman Josh Krulewitz said, “It was a mistake to use [“Dixie”]. We regret having done so and we apologize.” An ESPN source told Sporting News, “‘Dixie’ was not part of the graphic when the piece was initially produced and approved.”

  ESPN has since removed the graphic from their Twitter.

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Danielle Perea, Staff Writer

Danielle Perea is a Staff Writer for Smoke Signals. She enjoys music, playing the tenor saxophone, and chillin with her homie (her pet guinea pig.)

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