UCF began its 2023 football season Thursday night with an emphatic 56–6 beatdown of visiting Kent State in Orlando. 

The Knights begin the season 1-0 as the team looks to build on last year’s 9-5 season and second-place finish in the AAC.

Although the spotlight should have been on the stellar play by UCF in the season opener, a post created by the UCF athletics social media team is overshadowing the victory. The post on X (formerly Twitter) showed starting quarterback John Rhys Plumlee on the sideline with a caption in all caps “SOMEONE CALL THE NATIONAL GUARD.”

The post likely was meant to evoke Shannon Sharpe’s famous phony phone call to the president while his Broncos were routing the Patriots in 1996.

“President, we need the National Guard. We need as many men as you can spare, ’cause we are killing the Patriots,” Sharpe said on the spoof call that later went viral. “… Send the National Guard, please. They need emergency help.”

Unfortunately, the post unwittingly recalled an infamous tragedy on the Kent State campus. 

On May 4, 1970, 28 members of the Ohio National Guard fired into a crowd of Vietnam War protesters at Kent State, killing four students and wounding nine others. The deaths of the Kent State students sparked campus protests across the country.

It’s a bad look for the Knights’ social media team, which likely will be dealing with the consequences of the decision to create that post.