Another celebrity athlete is coming under fire this week for making anti-police comments and posting them in a video recording. However, he says he wasn’t aware what he was saying.
Reports emerged this week that Milwaukee Bucks’ player Pat Connaughton issued a statement on his twitter apologizing for a video he recorded using Cameo.com that contained anti-police comments.
Cameo is a popular website where individuals can request a personalized message from celebrities including athletes, singers, actors and other famous people. Celebrities charge different set prices for each video recording.
The fan(s) that books the celebrity sends them a script through the Cameo app. From there the celebrity will record themselves reading the script. Once recorded, the celebrity sends the video back to the fan through the app. After they are sent back the recordings can be downloaded to send on or be posted to social media.
The site itself seems like a really great idea as you can conceive any possible script from birthday and anniversary wishes to sending words of encouragement to those fighting an illness or sending something silly to a friend.
If you’re willing to pay for it, celebrities are willing to record it. But in some cases, these individuals don’t always research what they are reading off the scripts… and that can land the in hot water.
Connaughton, who makes almost two million dollars a year playing for the NBA team, recorded the following message in one of his paid Cameo app appearances last week;
“Hey Thin Blue Line, have a great holiday season. We only back you when you come to the Fiserv [the Bucks arena]. We don’t take much overall pride in the blue. Remember Brad, yeah, it was us. Have a blessed holiday once again. Sincerely, the team,” he said.
Suddenly I stan Pat Connaughton pic.twitter.com/IcNOhKxy63
— 🍒 (@melodramia) December 1, 2019
That video was than shared on social media, and specifically in a law enforcement support Facebook page. Although the original video has been deleted, the damage was already done. It’s been shared and re-shared thousands of times.
Anger among the Thin Blue Line community spread quickly, prompting Connaughton to post an apology on his Twitter page Sunday.
The tweet reads;
“I am very sorry for the Cameo video I taped the other day. I have always supported the police 100 percent, I have several relatives who are police officers, and am grateful to all of the officers who protect us everyday. Based off how the app works, the script I read was provided to me by a Cameo customer and I recorded the message without doing my due diligence to find out what it meant. While someone with obvious bad intentions was behind this request, I should have first researched what I was being asked to read. I deeply apologize.”
Please see my message below in regards to the Cameo video pic.twitter.com/k9xmSbDtYr
— Pat Connaughton (@pconnaughton) December 1, 2019
The Bucks senior vice president Alex Lasry retweeted Connaughton’s apology. When Lasry was asked by reporters about the incident, he explained that the team was aware of it and were looking into it.
It is currently unknown who purchased the video recorded by the NBA player.
Connaughton also spoke to reporters on Monday stating;
“At the end of the day, it was probably a lack of focus. It was a term [Thin Blue Line] that I wasn’t aware of. You know, even though I have police officers within my family, I’d never heard that term. I got to be smarter about it. I think anybody on that app has got to be a little bit smarter about the way that they do it. Other policemen, you know, based off seeing a video of me speaking into a camera, probably think that’s my opinion. I hope they understand that it’s not. And, you know, anything I can do to help make sure they do understand is something I’ll take into consideration.”
He added that he’s “willing to do whatever it takes to make things right with [the] police.”
Connaughton isn’t the first athlete or celebrity to be supposedly “tricked” into making negative comments. According to Breitbart News, NFL quarterback Brett Favre, along with hip-hop star Soulja Boy, as well as actor-comedian Andy Dick have all been “tricked” into recording videos that were coded with “anti-Semitic conspiracy theories” using Cameo.
Did you know that Law Enforcement Today has a private new home for those who support emergency responders and veterans? It’s called LET Unity, and it’s where we share the untold stories of those patriotic Americans. Every penny gets reinvested into giving these heroes a voice. Check it out today.
According to BuzzFeed News, “the white supremacist group Goyim Defense League, founded by YouTubers Sway Guevara and Handsome Truth” were the individuals who paid for all of those anti-Semitic videos.
In Favre’s recorded video he stated,
“Brett Favre here with a shoutout to the Handsome Truth and the GDL boys. You guys are patriots in my eyes. So keep waking them up and don’t let the small get you down. Keep fighting, too, and don’t ever forget the USS Liberty and the men and women who died on that day. God bless and take care.”
A BuzzFeed News’s report says:
“The small” stands for “small hats,” an anti-Semitic innuendo which refers to kippahs, a brimless skullcap worn by Jewish men. The other coded anti-Semitic reference — the “USS Liberty” — relates to an incident during the 1967 Six Day War, when Israel mistakenly opened fire on a Navy technical research ship, believed to have been an Egyptian vessel, killing 34 people onboard.
At the time of the Favre incident Cameo released a public statement which read;
“This was a blatant misuse of the Cameo platform and a violation of Cameo’s terms of service,” continues the statement. “Cameo immediately removed the videos from the website, requested YouTube to remove the content and created new filters to prevent this from happening in the future. The user has been banned from purchasing Cameos.”
Perhaps though if Connaughton, Favre, Dick and Soulja Boy had taken time and done some research BEFORE just reciting a script that was sent over to them via an app, they may have known what they were saying.
If signing up to participate in a website like this, especially being paid to read these scripts, there should be some due diligence on the part of the celebrity to research before recording. No?
After all, “I was tricked” does little to rectify the hurt to these communities the sharing of those videos has caused. Also how many times can this occur with different celebrities who than can use this excuse?
Not all the blame can be placed solely on the celebrity in these instances however. Cameo should perhaps be screening messages better that come across to be recorded.
In today’s world where social media can spread hate like wildfire both celebrities and the platforms that support them should be more cognizant of these types of issues.
Unless of course, they truly believe what they are saying?
At the time of this writing there appears to be no public statement from Cameo regarding the Thin Blue Line recording by Connaughton.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.
Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!