Adidas UK launched a social media campaign on Tuesday, July 2 to launch the new Arsenal FC home kits for the 2019-2020 season. Unfortunately, the campaign was spoiled after racist messages infiltrated the Adidas UK mentions leading to the company’s account tweeting out offensive comments.
As part of the campaign, followers of the Adidas UK account could reply with #DareToCreate and a jersey with their Twitter handle would be created and tweeted out. Of course, things quickly turned sour.
One account that tweeted to Adidas UK featured an antisemitic handle relating to the Holocaust.
While the message was quickly deleted, a screenshot was captured and shared online. (H/T: Sole Collector)
Of course, an apology was quickly issued from Adidas UK which says they are investigating the manner.
“As part of our partnership launch with Arsenal we have been made aware of the abuse of a Twitter personalization mechanic created to allow excited fans to get their name on the back of the new jersey,” a statement read, via The Guardian. “Due to a small minority creating offensive versions of this we have immediately turned off the functionality and the Twitter team will be investigating.”
Shortly after the story began gaining traction, Arsenal FC also issued a statement of their own.
“We totally condemn the use of language of this nature, which has no place in our game or society. We work hard as a club to encourage diversity and inclusion through our Arsenal for Everyone program, launched in 2008 as a celebration of the diversity of the Arsenal family,” the statement read.
“Through a number of initiatives undertaken in the community, inside Emirates Stadium and throughout the club, Arsenal strives to ensure that everyone associated with the club feels an equal sense of belonging.”
These are the obvious dangers of allowing anyone to autogenerate a custom graphic with little to no oversight. Let’s hope that everyone learned their lesson.