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#pounditSaturday, May 25, 2024

UCF deletes ‘National Guard’ tweet about Kent State

A UCF football helmet

Dec 3, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; General view of the UCF Knights helmet against the Tulane Green Wave during the first half at Yulman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The UCF Knights opened their 2023 season on Thursday night with a 56-6 drubbing of the Kent State Golden Flashes. But in addition to that win, UCF also took home one major L.

The UCF athletics social media team created an unintentional stir when they shared a photo of quarterback John Rhys Plumlee on the phone during the game. The caption read, “SOMEONE CALL THE NATIONAL GUARD,” which was a callback to the infamous Shannon Sharpe moment from 1996 when he “called the president” and requested the National Guard while the Denver Broncos were walking all over the New England Patriots.

“President, we need the National Guard. We need as many men as you can spare, ’cause we are killing the Patriots,” Sharpe said during the spoof call that is forever viral. “Send the National Guard, please. They need emergency help.”

The problem, of course, is that on May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard was called to Kent State due to growing Vietnam War protests. They ended up firing into the crowds of students, killing four and injuring nine others, one of whom was left paralyzed.

The UCF social media team obviously had no ill-intent when they sent the original tweet and the author was likely too young to know the tragedy that unfolded at Kent State in 1970. However, it serves as an unfortunate reminder that it’s best to know your history.

“An unfortunate post was made with the intention to reference the famous Shannon Sharpe sideline clip of him on the phone from a 1996 game against the New England Patriots.

“As soon as our staff was made aware of the unintended reference to the unfortunate event that took place at Kent State in 1970, the post was removed. It was addressed with our staff immediately, and updated protocols have been put in place to avoid a situation like this in the future.

“Vice President and Director of Athletics Terry Mohajir has apologized to Kent State Director of Athletics Randale L. Richmond,” UCF Athletics wrote in a statement.

It’s unclear what, if any, discipline was handed down for the social media post.


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