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Wizards issue apology for odd Black History Month tribute campaign


The Washington Wizards finally addressed the team’s weeks-long tribute to Black History Month, which was widely panned as ill-conceived, off-putting or just plain weird.

Throughout February, Monumental Sports & Entertainment showcased the faces of players and staff members from the Wizards, Washington Capitals and Washington Mystics paired with the visages prominent African American historical figures in images that included quotes from both individuals represented.

The campaign was referred to as “Inspire” and in one instance, the image featured the face of Ted Leonsis, owner of the three above-mentioned teams, paired with Martin Luther King Jr.

The Wizards on Tuesday finally addressed the unfavorable response by posting an apology on Facebook.

Throughout Black History Month we ran an “Inspire” campaign. We asked a variety of Wizards, Capitals and Mystics players and staff to share who inspired them. We asked them for a favorite quotation and then created a composite image that was half the player/staff member and half the person they admired. We released one composite image a day throughout February in an attempt to honor those whom our staff had identified as heroes. We intended this as a way to celebrate Black History Month and focus on the many important contributions by African-Americans to American history and culture. On a personal level, it was a way to share thoughts on African-American historical figures whom we admire. We may have missed the mark, and we apologize to those who were offended by the way this was presented.

The campaign certainly was a unique attempt at celebrating Black History Month, but it clearly missed the mark. Although the fact that the Wizards came out an apologized for the gaffe certainly should help soothe any hurt feelings over the questionable misstep.

[H/T D.C. Sports Bog]