Air Force base apologizes for Martin Luther King, Jr. ‘fun shoot’ fliers, renames event

US Air Force officials in Georgia are “deeply sorry” for distributing flyers promoting a “Martin Luther King Jr. Fun Shoot” and have removed them. The January 18 event is still listed on the airbase’s website, though it omits the civil rights leader’s name.

“It was an honest mistake,” Robins Air Force Base spokesman Roland Leach said in a press release. Fliers advertising the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day event were plastered around the base in Warner Robins, Georgia until officials apologized and removed them on Friday.

Social media had been in an uproar over the signs on Thursday evening. Dr. King was shot dead by an assassin on April 4, 1968.

The ads inviting the public to the base’s trap and skeet club said that for $20 “two rounds and lunch” would be provided.

Here is Leach’s apology on behalf of the base in full:

“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.”

Tasteless commemorations of King have received attention in the past, though this appears to be the first time a military branch has been involved. Last year, cognac maker Hennessy apologized for promoting “mixed drinks MLK Jr. would be proud of.”