What started with the censorship of tiny crosses has now turned into a giant public relations problem for Louisiana State University.
Thousands of football fans across the nation are outraged after LSU digitally erased the tiny crosses from a photograph of “The Painted Posse” that was distributed by the university. The school feared that someone might be offended.
“The Painted Posse” have been longtime fixtures in “Death Valley.” They’re known for loving Jesus and Tiger football. And they celebrate both during every football game — painting their bodies in school colors — along with a tiny cross – representing their faith in Christ.
“We encourage anyone who would like to honor Jesus Christ to join us by wearing a cross on November 3rd,” read a statement on the group’s Facebook page. “We strongly discourage the wearing of a cross as a way to protest the university or its recent decision.”
The young college students said even though they disagreed with the university’s decision to airbrush the crosses, they are not angry at school officials. They said they had even received an apology from the Southeastern Conference school.
Regardless, the Painted Posse said they plan to return to their normal seats with their normal painted uniforms on Nov. 3 — and they plan on “wholeheartedly supporting our Tigers.”
“Despite what happened, our main focus is to represent Christ,” the statement read.
University spokesman Herb Vincent told Campus Reform that the school altered the image to prevent other students from being offended.
“We don’t want to imply we are making any religious or political statements, so we air-brushed it out,” the school said in a statement. “Only one of the students, who didn’t appreciate it, actually contacted us about it. So next time, we’ll just choose a different photo.”
Going forward, the school plans to steer clear of photos with religious overtones when it sends out emails promoting athletics.
“It was just a straight sports communications message, no politics involved, no religion,” Vincent said.