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UCF apologizes for National Guard social media post during blowout win over Kent State

The post, trying to reference Shannon Sharpe’s moment in 1996, didn’t land well Thursday night

UCF apologized Sunday for a social media post that was sent during the team’s 56-6 win over Kent State on Thursday.

During the Golden Knights' season-opening win, the team posted a photo of quarterback John Rhys Plumlee on the phone on the sidelines at FBC Mortgage Stadium and used the caption, “Someone call the national guard.”

The post, the school said, was supposed to be referencing NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe, who pretended to call the President to get the National Guard during their game against the New England Patriots in 1996.

Yet because the post came during their game against Kent State, it naturally drew plenty of criticism. The school later deleted the tweet, and apologized Sunday.

"An unfortunate post was made with the intention to reference the famous Shannon Sharpe sideline clip of him on the phone from a 1996 game against the New England Patriots," UCF said in a statement to USA Today. "As soon as our staff was made aware of the unintended reference to the unfortunate event that took place at Kent State in 1970, the post was removed. It was addressed with our staff immediately, and updated protocols have been put in place to avoid a situation like this in the future.

"Vice president and director of athletics Terry Mohajir has apologized to Kent State director of athletics Randale L. Richmond."

UCF referenced calling in the National Guard during its 56-6 win over Kent State on Saturday, and later deleted the post.
UCF referenced calling in the National Guard during its 56-6 win over Kent State on Saturday, and later deleted the post. (Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The National Guard was called onto campus at Kent State when students were protesting the Vietnam War in 1970. The National Guard later fired into the crowd. Four students were killed and nine others were injured in the incident, which sparked a nationwide outcry at the time.

UCF rolled over Kent State in Thursday’s game in Orlando. Plumlee went 22-of-30 and threw for 281 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He ran for 90 yards and had a touchdown on the ground, too. The Golden Knights had 723 total yards of offense.

UCF will take on Boise State next this Saturday, and Kent State will travel to Arkansas for its next game.