Former NFL kicker and CBS broadcaster Jay Feely created a stir on social media by posting a photo of his daughter, her prom date, Feely, and one very specific other thing.
The thing was a handgun, and the caption was this, via ESPN.com: “Wishing my beautiful daughter and her date a great time at prom #BadBoys.”
After the tweet and the photo prompted a reaction from those who believe that making light of gun violence is inappropriate in a current climate that consists of school shootings and other attacks with firearms in public places, Feely posted a clarification: “The prom picture I posted was obviously intended to be a joke. My Daughter has dated her boyfriend for over a year and they knew I 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 to that important issue.”
Humor is subjective. For example, I could say that the kid shouldn’t worry because Feely’s vision isn’t very good. Some would think that’s funny. Some wouldn’t.
I also could say that far more offensive than the presence of the gun is the fact that Feely is apparently standing on his tippy-toes so that he’ll appear to be taller than the dude his daughter is dating. Some would think that’s funny. Some wouldn’t.
Regardless, every attempt at humor should take into account the broader subject matter. Given the current national discourse and the challenges inherent to stopping mass shootings (especially at schools), Feely’s foray into prop comedy probably should have entailed a little more foresight regarding whether that was the best way to make his point.