DraftKings, a well-known sports betting company, recently came under scrutiny for a promotional event they launched on the 22nd anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. The promotion linked the tragic day to betting on New York-based sports teams, sparking significant public outrage. Here’s a closer look at the situation and the fallout that ensued.
DraftKings Sparks Outrage With “Never Forget” Betting Promotion
In a move that has ignited a firestorm of criticism, Boston-based sports betting giant DraftKings sparked outrage after launching a betting promotion tied to the somber anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Controversial Promotion Tied to the 9/11 Anniversary
The promotion, titled “Never Forget,” banked on the victories of three New York-based teams – the Yankees, Mets, and Jets – on the 22nd anniversary of the harrowing day that saw the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacked, resulting in the deaths of almost 3,000 innocent people.
The Details of the Incentive
The controversial incentive allowed bettors to place their wagers on the collective wins of these teams, with clear and questionable reference to the traumatic event.
DraftKings Swiftly Pulls Down the Promotion Amid Backlash
The incentive, however, didn’t last long.
DraftKings Issues Apology Amid Controversy
Following a huge amount of vocal disapproval across social media platforms, DraftKings swiftly pulled down the promotion and subsequently issued an apology.
“We sincerely apologize for the featured parlay that was shared briefly in commemoration of 9/11,” DraftKings conveyed in a statement. “We respect the significance of this day for our country and especially for the families of those who were directly affected.”
Brett Eagleson, an advocate for the families and first responders through his organization 9/11 Justice and the son of Bruce Eagleson, who tragically lost his life in the World Trade Center, was direct in his criticism.
A “Tone-Deaf” Business Move
He condemned DraftKings’ tactless marketing maneuver as a blatant case of “tone-deaf” business strategy.
“It is shameful to use the national tragedy of 9/11 to promote a business,” Eagleson stated.
Accountability, Not Commercial Exploitation
“We need accountability, justice, and closure, not self-interest and shameless promotion.”
Uncertainty Around the Status of the Bets
As the news continued to ripple across the public sphere, DraftKings declined to reveal the number of bets made during the short-lived promotion.
Similarly, the fate of those bets – whether they stand or have been nullified – remains a mystery.
Social Media Erupts With Criticism Over the Promotion
Adding to the chorus of condemnation were Twitter users who didn’t hold back in expressing their shock and dismay.
“Absolutely shameless,” one user stated, capturing the general sentiment.
Balancing Sensitivity and Commercial Interests in Marketing
Another user commented, “Absolutely disgusting. I’m saddened that – once again – we have taken a tragic and somber day of reflection and turned it into a promotional opportunity.”
The Nature of Marketing
The dismay was obvious in another user’s tweet, “Let’s turn a day to remember into a day of gambling. What were they thinking?”
The Responsibility of Businesses
For many, this incident brings forth broader questions about the nature of marketing and the sometimes blurry line between sensitive commemoration and blatant commercialism.
It also sheds light on the responsibility businesses bear when navigating sensitive historical events and the legacies they leave behind.
DraftKings’ Swift Response Mitigates Some Damage
While DraftKings’ swift removal of the promotion and subsequent apology might have mitigated some of the damage, the incident serves as a stark reminder: some tragedies, especially those that have left marks on the collective conscience of a nation, are sacred and should be approached with the utmost care, compassion, and respect.
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The post “Absolutely Shameless” DraftKings’ SHOCKING 9/11 Bet Promo: Is This the End of the Betting Giant? first appeared on Mama Say What?!
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / PeopleImages.com – Yuri A. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.
Source: Washington Post