The American Red Cross was quick to apologize after one Twitter user noticed what he thought were racially-tinged illustrations on a pool safety poster.
The poster shows children and adults playing in and around the pool area, each of them near an arrow describing whether the portrayed behavior was "cool," in obedience to the rules, or "not cool," in disobedience to the rules.
Those with the label "cool" included a white father playing with his small child and a white girl standing near the diving board. Those with the "not cool" label included a black girl pushing a white girl in the water and black boys diving from a prohibited area of the pool.
However, the poster also featured a white man carrying a glass bottle near the pool, which was marked "not cool," and a white and black boy running on the pool deck, also marked "not cool." One of the two lifeguards reprimanding the roughhousing boys was a black woman.
The poster was first designed in 2014, and displayed at pools in 50 communities. But when the Red Cross was notified about these posters a little more than one week ago, only two remained at Colorado pools in For Morgan and Salida.
Regardless, the Red Cross issued an apology, telling the Twitter user who brought it to their attention that they were removing the illustration "immediately" and would be "creating new materials."
@JSawyer330 Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We’re removing this from our site immediately & are creating new materials.— American Red Cross (@RedCross) June 21, 2016
"We deeply apologize for any misunderstanding, as it was absolutely not our intent to offend anyone," the organization said in a separate statement, adding that it had notified its partner organizations to remove the posters, which were first designed to reduce the drowning rate in high-risk communities.
But not everyone on the social media platform felt the poster was really racist.
@LauraEllenMSW how is this poster racist?— Chuck Dobner (@Unashamed_Chuck) June 26, 2016
@LauraEllenMSW there's a "not cool" white kid running and there's one drinking.— Chuck Dobner (@Unashamed_Chuck) June 26, 2016
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