Watch: American Red Cross Forced to Apologize After Finding a Way to Make a Pool Safety Flyer ‘Racist’

An American Red Cross Hospital sign in Fort Morgan, Colorado is at the center of a race controversy over a swimming safety poster that depicts Black children breaking safety protocols.

According to the Monday news report from NBC’s Today Show, Margaret Sawyer, the former executive director of the Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project, took the photo of the poster at the Salida Pool and Rec center on June 20. Twitter user John Sawyer/JSawyer330 posted the photo, and it was shared thousands of times.

In the “Be Cool, Follow the Rules” poster, Black children are seen breaking the rules, recklessly playing in and around the pool, and pushing white children while the white kids are seen following the rules.

The hospital released this statement this week to NBCBLK after the social media backlash:

“The American Red Cross appreciates and is sensitive to the concerns raised regarding one of the water safety posters we produced. We deeply apologize for any misunderstanding, as it was absolutely not our intent to offend anyone. As one of the nation’s oldest and largest humanitarian organizations, we are committed to diversity and inclusion in all that we do, every day.”

“Going forward, we are developing more appropriate materials that are more representative of our workforce and the communities we serve,” the statement continued. “Our aquatic instructors have been notified of these concerns and we will advocate that our aquatic partner facilities remove the poster until revised materials are available.”

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