In preparation for the weekend's football game against Kent State, Louisiana State University's Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity hung a sign from their front door that read: "Getting massacred is nothing new to Kent State."
Not surprisingly, the sign upset some viewers, even LSU fans, who felt that its message was offensive.
“I love my Tigers, but this is inappropriate,” one LSU fan wrote NBC 33.
Four Kent State students were shot and killed by the Ohio National Guard during a Cambodia protest in May 1970, an incident that had a profound effect on public opinion about the presidency and American action in southeast Asia.
When photos of the sign hit social media, Kent State spokesman Eric Mansfield released this statement:
May 4, 1970 was a watershed moment for the country and especially the Kent State family. We lost four students that day while nine others were wounded and countless others were changed forever. We take offense to the actions of a few people last night who created an inappropriate sign and distracted from the athletic contest on the field.
Our new May 4 Visitor Center, which opened less than a year ago, is another way in which Kent State is inviting the country to gain perspective on what happened 43 years ago and apply its meaning to the future.
We would invite those who created the sign to visit our campus to visit the May 4 Visitor Center and learn more about the event which forever changed Kent State and America.
According to WTVM, LSU said that DKE's Zeta Zeta chapter could face disciplinary action.
The fraternity's chapter issued an apology Sunday for what it called "a poor attempt at humor":
We, the men of Zeta Zeta, formally apologize to your entire community for the banner that was hung from our house this past weekend. The sign was inappropriate and should never have been hung in the first place. We hope that the Kent State community can forgive our action and accept our sincere apologies. We apologize not only to the community of Kent State, but also to those who were personally affected by this tragedy in American history. Hanging the banner was a poor attempt at humor. We, as young college students, did not grasp the full scoop of the tragedy and it’s long lasting effects. This is not how we would like to represent our fraternity as well as our school, and we certainly hope we did not put a negative spin on your school’s visit to Louisiana State University.
After the controversy, DKE hung this sign:
Props to the LSU frat bros who worked some Syria humor into their game day banners. pic.twitter.com/5iGu4vSHDq— Brett (@thecajunboy) September 8, 2013