Robins Air Force Base in Georgia has taken down a flyer advertising a "Martin Luther King Jr. Fun Shoot" scheduled for the holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader.
In a statement to Air Force Times, Robins apologized for the advertising tying the event to the holiday honoring King, who was shot by an assassin in Memphis in 1968.
"We're deeply sorry for any offense or harm caused by our insensitivity and failure to provide appropriate oversight of our marketing process," Robins spokesman Roland Leach said in an email Thursday. "The flyer does not represent the values, opinions or views of the Department of Defense, the Air Force or Robins Air Force Base leadership and its employees."
Leach said Robins officials realized the advertisement was inappropriate "several days ago" and immediately started taking the flyer down.
"There was no malice of forethought in the flyer's creation and it was never the base's intention to portray Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a negative light," Leach said. "It was an honest mistake, to which we've personally counseled the parties involved and will provide them with remedial training and appropriate oversight to prevent this sort of inattention from occurring in the future."
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported the flyer had been taken down Thursday.
The 78th Force Support Squadron at Robins scheduled the trap, skeet and sporting clay shooting event for Monday at the base's skeet range. The calendar on the 78th's web page referred to the event as the Martin Luther King Fun Shoot until late Thursday afternoon, when the reference to King was dropped from the listing. The event still appears to be scheduled for Monday.
The event, with King's name, was first posted on the squadron's website Dec. 28.
"Again, we offer our heartfelt apology to those affected by our thoughtlessness," Leach said in the email. "We hold the legacy of Dr. King in the highest regard."
Stephen Losey covers personnel, promotions, and the Air Force Academy for Air Force Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.