If you ever REALLY want to know how people feel about something, just head to Twitter. It was THE place to be during the 2018 Super Bowl. Twitter had memes about Justin Timberlake’s halftime performance, jokes about emo Tom Brady, and thoughts on David Harbour’s Tide ads. People even posted pictures of themselves kneeling during the Super Bowl national anthem. But unfortunately, not everyone used Twitter for good last night. The Kentucky State Police Twitter account posted a horribly offensive rape joke, which is a sentence that nobody should ever have to write.
The Kentucky State Police tweet was an attempt to dissuade people from drunk driving, presumably with a little football humor. But what resulted was something seriously NOT funny. They tweeted: “Enjoy watching @Robgronkowski (TE) play but if you drink & drive…your tight-end may end up in jail!” The post included a GIF of a bar of soap falling to the floor. It references “Don’t drop the soap,” a tasteless joke about prison rape.
The Kentucky State Police tweet is completely unacceptable for so many reasons. Rape is never a joke. A tired play on words is not worth a handful of Twitter likes when it comes at the expense of people who have experienced sexual assault. Anyone with access to a Twitter account representing officers of the law should know better. Period.
After the Kentucky State Police posted the insensitive tweet, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) shot back. She called for an apology and noted that law enforcement should do much better than this.
The Kentucky State Police deleted the insensitive tweet and posted an apology.
Apologizing is a good start, but it doesn’t make up for the fact someone tweeted a rape joke on behalf of law enforcement officials. Their apology isn’t enough, and it’s too little, too late. People on Twitter aren’t buying their apology either.
Rape is NEVER a joke. Do better, Kentucky State Police Department.