The Utah Jazz has been forced to apologize after seemingly endorsing a fan who donned blackface to dress up as former star player Karl Malone.
The team's Twitter account retweeted an image on Sunday depicting two fans recreating a photo of Malone and his teammate John Stockton, adding: "Can anyone top this Halloween costume?"
The tweet was originally sent by Tyler Christensen from Logan, Utah and compares an image of him and his friend in costume with the original image of the Hall of Fame duo.
"We tried our best to recreate the dynamic duo! #stocktontomalone #utahjazz #themailman," Christensen wrote, tweeting the message at the Utah Jazz and ESPN accounts.
@espn @utahjazz we tried our best to recreate the dynamic duo! #stocktontomalone #utahjazz #themailman pic.twitter.com/FcLts6P7Lm
— Tyler Christensen (@TCritty25) October 27, 2013
After the Utah Jazz account retweeted the image in an apparent endorsement of the fans' use of blackface, it came under fire — and the tweet was promptly removed, Deadspin first reported.
Some readers branded it 'offensive', while others lamented at how Halloween revelers choose to use blackface every year, despite the controversy it causes.
"We apologize for the last retweet/tweet moments ago," the Jazz account read minutes later on Sunday afternoon. "We have taken it down as it may be insensitive."
A Jazz spokesperson added: "Within minutes we realized the error, we deleted the Tweet and apologized to our followers."
We apologize for the last retweet/tweet moments ago, we have taken it down as it may be insensitive.
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) October 27, 2013