It’s hard to decide whether or not both Liverpool and the Los Angeles Lakers were trying to intentionally strengthen their brand at the expense of the commemoration of the September 11 attacks or simply made an honest mistake on their twitter page.
Both franchises had to remove their tweets and graphics from their twitter feeds after receiving a surprising amount of backlash for making a cynical attempt at publicizing themselves (or one Kobe Bryant) on a day that’s about remembering the victims from 12 years ago.
The Lakers put on a Kobe Bryant picture, featuring a patch worn on his jersey in remembrance of the tragic event. The hashtag #NEVERFORGET was planted right above it. It wasn’t very well received, even if the intention was good. Too many people complaining about the picture focusing on Bryant and the Lakers, and not the event.
The Lakers issued an apology: We apologize to anyone who took this differently than we intended and were therefore offended by it. We used a photo of how we commemorated 9/11 in the 2001-02 season, shortly after the tragedy occurred, because we wanted to show our support of what we felt at that time and continue to feel now. Out of respect for the intensely personal nature of how people remember this day, and that we recognize that not everyone understood the intent of our message, we pulled down our tweet and photo. Ultimately, our intent was to honor the spirit of remembering a day that we should all never forget.
Liverpool didn’t do much better, as their official American feed, @LFCUSA, uploaded a graphic with the message of “You’ll never walk alone” above two towers painted in red, wo Liverpool liver birds sitting under each tower.
Even more than the Lakers tweet, this seemed like a bad case of self publicizing at the wrong day to many people, and the club removed the tweet and graphic shortly after.
Sometimes, it’s better just to write something simple, thoughtful and considerate and get it over with.