Organizers of the Oklahoma Run ‘n Gun, a biathlon and shooting competition in Pawnee, Okla., ran into some trouble after posting a photo on social media showing two participants holding a rainbow flag as a target.
Event organizers posted the image to promote their July 18 competition. The photo showed two men holding rifles and a caption that reads “new high visibility targets on the 500 yard range.”
Freedom Oklahoma Executive Director Troy Stevenson said many activists felt threatened by the post.
“People got really offended and really upset and people were really feeling threatened,” he told KFOR.
Stevenson says he reached out to event organizers after seeing the picture, who assured him it was a joke.
“He assures us that it wasn’t meant as a threat. It was a situation where I don’t think the people doing it understood social media or how bad their joke was,” Stevenson said.
The organizer said participants had trouble seeing the targets, so they simply chose the brightest target available. Unfortunately they chose a rainbow flag.
“You could definitely tell by reading the comments that they were trying to make a joke out of this. But once again, it was going way too far and offending a lot of people and it was very threatening language,” Stevenson said.
The post and their Facebook page have since been removed. A page criticizing the group, however, has appeared.