The best—and worst—thing about Blue Ivy’s internet is that it’s forever.
Once you hit “send”, or scamper off into your “Critical Race Theory, My Ass” Facebook group to bemoan the fact that there are living, breathing Black people who actually exist, it’s virtually impossible to rid the interwebs of your greatest triumph or Chrissy Teigen-esque blunder. To this day, I’m sure there’s some dark corner of the internet where I can watch full episodes of the greatest sitcom that ever was, 2005’s infamous Being Bobby Brown; and if you tried hard enough, I bet you could still infiltrate your MySpace page, too.
Because the internet is the gift that keeps on giving.
Yet despite this fact, the San Jose Sharks—who I didn’t even know existed until today because I’d rather watch a Klan rally than a hockey game—made what some would call “a fireable offense” when they decided to honor Juneteenth with the following tweet:
To those who wonder if I’m personally outraged, I regret to inform you that I’m not. I’m acutely aware that in a day and age in which corporations and sports franchises trip over themselves to cash in on being “woke,” this type of foolery is par for the course. Although upon further inspection, I’m not entirely sure how a shark is supposed to emancipate millions of my enslaved ancestors, but maybe it’s just a deleted scene from Sharknado 5: Global Swarming.
Or maybe somebody just got themselves fired.
As is usually the case with these types of monumental, tone-deaf fuck ups, Twitter was front and center to roast the Sharks for abolishing slavery about 150 years too late.
Realizing the error of their ways—while simultaneously forgetting that the internet is forever—the team deleted their JuneTeeth tweet and instead pinned the blame on the guy who designed it, Mohamed Fofana.
(Prepare accordingly for the plot twist.)
“We hear you and understand that we missed the all too important context on the earlier attempted post,” the Sharks tweeted. “We celebrate freedom and the importance of #Juneteenth to many in our community by re-sharing this amazing art from Mohamed Fofana, a member of our front office.”
So who in the hell is Mohamed Fofana? I’m glad you asked!
As it turns out, he works for the team as an account manager and is the mastermind behind the Sharks going viral for all the wrong reasons. His design was also put on a shirt and sold, with proceeds going to The African American Community Service Agency in San Jose.
Oh, and he’s Black.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity and the platform from the San Jose Sharks to create something from the heart to symbolize Juneteenth!” he said of his masterpiece. “I never imagined me sharing my art and talking about racial injustice with my team would lead to this. I sincerely thank everyone involved and I’ll leave you with this: lead with pure intentions, lead with purpose and never dim your light because you’re afraid it may be too bright for others to see.”
He also explained what in the hell those JuneTeeth are supposed to symbolize.
“The Shark biting through the chains represents the San Jose Sharks taking a stand against systemic racism and it also symbolizes the importance that professional sports organizations play in taking a stand and recognizing that change starts within.”
Has this guy never heard of Colin Kaepernick? Or—let me stop.
It’s clear that Fofana has noble intentions, but it’s safe to say that the Sharks’ execution could use a little work. Especially considering the relationship—or lack thereof—that hockey has with the Black community. They basically pulled up to the cookout uninvited with a plate full of asshole casserole that nobody asked for.
No thank you.
Moral of the story: The next time you want to “celebrate freedom” on our behalf, don’t.