A former National Football League star has said that a photo of himself holding a gun next to his daughter and her prom date was intended as a joke. The single-action pistol was not cocked and Feely's finger was not in the trigger well.
Feely posted a picture with his daughter and her date, and he's holding a handgun.
This sparked a series of tweets in reply, including a running commentary from Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts. "It's a joke that Dads have been making for centuries, 'I'm gonna give my shotgun if you touch my daughter'".
Every single year during prom season, we see countless pictures on social media with kids and their parents ahead of the big night.
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Ex-NFL placekicker Jay Feely would probably have escaped without criticism had he not remained a public figure through his association with CBS Sports. On Sunday he said the picture was 'intended to be a joke.' He added that his daughter and her boyfriend knew he was joking.
"I take gun safety seriously (the gun was not loaded and had no clip in) and I did not intend to be insensitive on that important issue", he wrote. Some people immediately pounced on the tweet and image as tone-deaf, not only in terms of the gun issue but also what they considered the objectification of Feely's daughter.
"Guns are not toys or props", she tweeted.