The Seattle Seahawks staged one of the most remarkable comebacks in NFL playoff history over the weekend. Then they blew it on Monday.
An over-ventilated person in the Seahawk PR department thought it would be great to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day and commemorate at the same time the team's never-give-up-hope victory. Clever idea. Bad decision.
The football team's Twitter account posted "We shall overcome" along with a picture of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson accompanied by King's famous "Take the first step in faith." Social media reaction was swift and slashing.
One tweet called it blasphemous to equate a football game victory to the civil rights struggle led by King.
The Seahawks responded quickly and smartly by removing the tweet and posting an apology admitting poor judgment. "We apologize for poor judgment shown in a tweet sent earlier. We did not intend to compare football to the civil rights legacy of Dr. King."
The episode is a further reminder than social media is not a parlor game. It is serious business, with serious consequences.
However well intended the Seahawks tweet was, it reflected the kind of poor judgment that usually results from a non-existent vetting system for social media posts. If a group of people had looked at and thought about the proposed post before it was published, a more mature judgment would have prevailed and it would have never seen the light of day.