ARIZONA (CBS Local) – A former NFL kicker has apologized after sparking controversy by posing with a handgun in his daughter’s prom picture.
Jay Feely, who played for six NFL teams in his 14-year career, posted the picture on Twitter in which the pro athlete stood between his daughter and her prom date while holding the pistol. The father added “#BadBoys,” reportedly in reference to a scene in the movie “Bad Boys 2” where Martin Lawrence and Will Smith harass a teen who is dating the daughter of one of the characters.READ MORE: New ILogin Verification System Is Locking Out Illinoisans Trying To File Unemployment Claims
Although both teens seemed to be amused with Feely’s actions, the April 21 photo set off a fierce debate on social media as to whether the father was promoting gun violence. The tweet was deemed by many to be “out of touch,” as the poorly-timed photo was taken just two months after the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida which left 17 people dead.READ MORE: Dolton Police Involved In Incident Where Shots Were Fired On Bishop Ford Freeway
“The prom picture I posted was obviously intended to be a joke,” Feely tweeted just 14 hours later on April 22. “I take gun safety seriously (the gun was not loaded and had no clip in).”MORE NEWS: CDC Issues Warning About Salmonella Outbreak Involving Onions Imported From Mexico; 37 Cases In Illinois
The CBS football analyst says that his daughter and the boy in the picture have been dating for over a year and knew he was making a joke on the couple’s prom night. Feely added he did not mean to be “insensitive” to the issue of gun safety. The photo has received over 135,000 likes and has not been taken down by the former kicker.