With prom season here, there are plenty of photos landing online of happy teens posing with their dates and families. One dad’s joke about his daughter’s prom date didn’t sit well with everyone, however, but why did he come under fire for the photo? Jay Feely, a former NFL kicker, posted the photo on Twitter with the caption: “Wishing my beautiful daughter and her date a great time at prom #BadBoys.”
In the photo, he has one arm wrapped around his daughter, who is giving him an “oh dad” look, while the other hand holds a gun. Her date poses alongside the dad, with a face that seems to say he will be on his best behavior with this guy’s little girl.
The hashtag #BadBoys appears to be a reference to the Will Smith movie in which he cautions Martin Lawrence’s on-screen daughter’s date. While the image of Jay holding a firearm as a warning to his daughter’s date is a joke, not everyone found the humor in the image.
One Twitter user noted: “Let’s see… Daddy poses for a photo by standing between daughter and her date, while holding a hand gun!? The clear message is what? That you own a gun? You make a strong case that MANY GUN OWNERS SHOULD NOT OWN A GUN!! Totally irresponsible.”
Another person tweeted in response: “He is also apparently sending a message that he owns his daughter, and this kid better not trespass on his ‘property.'”
Still another person wasn’t impressed, tweeting: “Not just that, but also that the daughter can’t make choices for herself. Wrong for so many reasons.”
Another Twitter user made note: “I mean, we get the reference, but this was terribly out of touch with gun safety. And out of touch with not making that picture and night about you,” with one person tweeting in response: “And out of touch with the idea that the daughter might be in control of her own decisions.”
Not everyone was offended by the pic, however, with people writing: “Dang y’all can’t take a joke lol” and “The father with a gun joke is decades old and is nothing more than a joke about a father protecting his daughter too much. Its intentionally ‘over the top’ so the joke’s easy to understand. And still people dont get it…”
Jay’s dad hopped on Twitter to share his perspective as well, tweeting: “Hey, not a big fan of guns, but there are some times you just have to make a point. In this case, all is just in fun. These two kids have been dating for several years and they are fully trusted.”
Jay was happy to clarify his joke in the photo and explain himself, tweeting later: “The prom picture I posted was obviously intended to be a joke. My daughter has dated her boyfriend for over a year and they knew I was joking. I take gun safety seriously (the gun was not loaded and had no clip in) and I did not intend to be insensitive to that important issue.”