March 5 (UPI) -- The NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins have disciplined a staff member for photoshopping masks onto fans in a picture posted to the team's Twitter account.
"While perhaps well intended, our staffer should not have altered a wide crowd photo to adjust masks on faces of even a few fans who were not strictly following the rules," the Penguins said Thursday in a statement.
"Our social media team should never send out altered photos to our fan base. This is a violation of our social media and safety policy, and this staffer has been disciplined."
The initial photo, which showed about 20 people, was taken during the Penguins' 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.
The game marked the first time this season that the Penguins have allowed fans since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. About 2,800 fans were allowed to attend the game and were required to socially distance and wear masks unless eating or drinking.
The Penguins reposted the photo of the crowd to Twitter on Wednesday, but cropped out one person who wasn't wearing a mask and edited masks onto three other people, who weren't wearing them properly. The tweet had not been deleted as of Friday morning.
The altered photo was part of a tweet that also featured text from a quote by Penguins coach Mike Sullivan.
"We're grateful for the loyalty that our fans showed during this difficult time," Sullivan said.
The Flyers beat the Penguins 4-3 Thursday in Pittsburgh. The teams face off again at 1 p.m. EST Saturday in Pittsburgh.