Some fans of the Cleveland Browns went on the offensive after an Akron company’s Twitter account was used to sling a little mud in the direction of their favorite NFL team during the Super Bowl.
A GOJO Industries employee used the social media account for Purell — the company’s hand sanitizer — to take a shot at the Browns during the Seattle Seahawks’ 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos.
The tweet on Twitter, which has since been removed, said “The #Broncos could use a @PURELL refresh moment, because right now they look like the Cleveland Browns.” It was posted at 9:32 p.m. Sunday.
One response by a Cleveland T-shirt company, @FreshBrewedTees, asked whether a boycott of Purell was necessary.
“Yikes. #Browns fans - boycott @purell? Retweet if yes tweeted,” the tweet said. It was retweeted 205 times.
At 12:14 a.m., GOJO posted a new tweet: “#Browns fans @PURELL apologize for the insensitive post. We are investigating the source and we will take appropriate action.”
Within minutes, more fans responded.
One called Purell “classless,” but others asked why Purell was apologizing.
“@Purell should have stood by it! It was funny!” said one.
“@Purell why are you sorry, your #Browns tweet was funny and True!!”
But another took a shot at Purell.
“@Purell Of course you deleted it to make yourself look better. You do know your brand CAME from Cleveland, right? #noclass.”
Monday morning, GOJO spokeswoman Samantha Williams released the following statement in response to an inquiry about the tweet:
“On behalf of PURELL, we want to apologize to the Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Browns fans for an insensitive tweet that was sent from the PURELL Twitter account last night. Many Cleveland Browns fans are upset and understandably so because as Northeast Ohioans we have deep pride for our local community and local sport teams. When we learned of the post, we immediately took it down.
“This post does not represent the views of PURELL. Someone made a stupid mistake and we are embarrassed and apologetic. The original apologies came from the person who posted the offending tweet, so we took them down and posted our sincere apology from PURELL. We are taking immediate steps to ensure this never happens again. Again, our sincere apology to the Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Browns fans.”
When asked whether one employee or a team is responsible for the product’s Twitter account and whether the person who posted the account was fired, Williams replied: “We cannot respond to personnel issues, but what I can tell you is that we are investigating all of our processes and will make sure that this does not happen again.”