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Duke to use photo of hoops players with guns as teaching moment

Posted October 14, 2013

— Duke University officials said Monday that an image posted on a sports website over the weekend showing basketball players posing with guns has been taken out of context.

Still, they said, they plan to use the incident to talk to players about public perception.

The team is on a week-long team-building trip to New York, including a day at West Point, coach Mike Krzyzewski's alma mater. While at West Point, the players got time on a combat simulator using laser weapons.

"They were given the opportunity by the Army personnel to take some pictures," Jon Jackson, associate director of athletics, said Monday.

Duke basketball players with guns Duke downplays dustup over gun photo

Two of the pictures, showing the players posing with the laser guns, which resemble automatic weapons, quickly made it to Deadspin.com with the headline "What Is This Photo Of The Duke Basketball Team Handling Assault Rifles?"

"If you take the image by itself and it's taken out of context, it could be seen as are we somehow glamorizing gun violence or something like that. Clearly, (that's) not the case," Jackson said.

Sports talk radio hosts Adam Gold and Joe Ovies of 99.9 FM The Fan discussed the pictures on their Monday afternoon show.

Ovies said that, when taken in context, the photo is no big deal.

"They were dummies – they were dummy weapons. You kind of go, 'Alright,'" Ovies said.

Gold said, however, that the team should have used more forethought, and some Duke students agree.

"You're in your Duke uniform, your warm-ups, and everybody's out there holding machine guns. It just looks bad," Gold said.

"I don't think it's a good idea to attach that image to the basketball team," Duke freshman Tim Campbell said.

Jackson said the incident gives the athletic department a chance to discuss the power of social media with players.

"(We'll discuss) the importance of perception and how those images could have been perceived not when taken in context," he said.

45 Comments

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  • kbkline Oct 14, 6:53 p.m.

    So now there's something wrong with a person holding a gun. At a military academy none the less. This is why we are who we are as a country right. Unbelievable

  • IHL3 Oct 14, 7:15 p.m.

    I guess everyone who has aver had a picture taken with a firearm is a hoodlum, according to all the so-called "experts". Let the guys have some fun and learn something at the same time. Where better than at a military academy training.

  • bigfella Oct 14, 7:29 p.m.

    People complaining about this photo need to get a clue.

  • scubagirl2 Oct 14, 7:29 p.m.

    everyone seems to be overreacting here-the school, the public.....
    In context I would imagine everyone, or quite a few, would have done the same. Difference is you aren't 'famous'.

  • uncpwnsyou Oct 14, 7:41 p.m.

    "You're in your Duke uniform, your warm-ups, and everybody's out there holding machine... View More

    Called this one from the get-go. This isn't over.

    Dook's lameAZZ response was weak...and expected.

    Bet that PR department is twice as scrambly today as they were yesterday. LOL

  • coachjim44 Oct 14, 7:47 p.m.

    Imagine that idot Adam Gold calling someone a dummy?

  • shakennotstirred Oct 14, 7:50 p.m.

    America, the offended!

  • iron fist Oct 14, 7:57 p.m.

    People really need to be as concerned with the real issues in this Country. unemployment, crime, politicians etc. Young men on a military base with fake guns should not be a concern.

  • wolf80 Oct 14, 7:58 p.m.

    This is what is wrong with America today, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, it has taken the place of COMMON SENSE.

    Absolutely nothing wrong with what the Duke players or staff did. Yet many will exploit it for their own political agendas.

    I applaud Coach K for taking his players to a great place like West Point where our future military leaders are getting their education and experiencing what our future soldiers do during training.

    Only UNC fans will exploit this and it is like I said, lack of common sense and
    JEALOUSY !!!! Funny how the only negative post so far has come from a UNCheat fan...uncpwnsyou

  • Leave it to Beaver Reruns Oct 14, 8:07 p.m.

    I think any reaction you can get from the libs is a win in my book.

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