In a team-building exercise, coach Mike Krzyzewski brought his Duke basketball team to his alma mater West Point to show them military life and give them a lesson in gun safety.
After going through a training and safety course, the players had the opportunity to handle laser guns that resemble M4s and M240s in a combat simulator, WRAL Sports reports. They posted photos posing with the guns to the Blue Devil Network Twitter account, but they have been taken down under pressure from gun control advocates.
Jon Jackson, associate director of athletics for Duke, said that this was not the intention.
“If you take the image by itself and it’s taken out of context, it could be seen as are we somehow glamorizing gun violence or something like that,” Jackson said. “Clearly, not the case.”
Outlets like Deadspin used misleading headlines like, “What is this photo of the Duke basketball team handling assault rifles?”
There is no clarification given in the text that the players were not using real guns, but rather laser weapons designed only to simulate the guns.
No players or Coach K have made any statement.