Air Force officials apparently didn’t think too hard about advertising a skeet shooting event on one of their bases (in Georgia of all states) as a “Martin Luther King Jr. FUN SHOOT.” 

 

The flyer, included above in a tweet from Atlanta Journal-Constistution reporter Greg Bluestein, made waves on social media over its use of Dr. King’s name and image as juxtoposed with the words “FUN SHOOT.” Dr. King, whose holiday we observe on Monday, January 18 to commemorate, in part, his use of nonviolent protest, likely would not have approved of this event. 

But Air Force officials apparently intended nothing inflammatory by this event, which was organized for Georgia’s Robins Air Force Base Trap and Skeet Club. Bluestein’s report cites a statement from the military base’s Outdoor Recreation office, which insists that the flyer would be pulled: 

We’re deeply sorry for any offense or harm caused by our insensitivity and failure to provide appropriate oversight of our marketing process. The flyer does not represent the values, opinions or views of the Department of Defense, the Air Force or Robins Air Force Base leadership and its employees.

We realized the inappropriateness of the advertisement several days ago and immediately began removing the flyer. There was no malice of forethought in the flyer’s creation and it was never the base’s intention to portray Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in a negative light. It was an honest mistake, to which we’ve personally counseled the parties involved and will provide them with remedial training and appropriate oversight to prevent this sort of inattention from occurring in the future. 

Again, we offer our heartfelt apology to those affected by our thoughtlessness. We hold the legacy of Dr. King in the highest regard.

The statement did not indicate whether or not the event would still take place, or if the intended “remedial training” included explaining how it’s completely inappropriate to use the likeness of an assasinated nonviolent activist for a shooting event.