The head of the US Army’s Cadet Corps is drawing fire after he claimed that people mourning the death of NBA player Kobe Bryant were wasting their energy.
Major General John Evans put out a tweet on Monday morning, critiquing those who were distraught by the death of Bryant, who perished in a helicopter crash.
“Lots of people mourning a basketball player this morning,” he wrote. “I think I’ll use my energy to remember SPC Moore and his Family.”
The general was referring to the US Soldier who died from injuries sustained in a recent rollover accident overseas, Specialist Antonio Moore of the US Army Reserves.
Evans’ tweet likely did not go over as well as he would have hoped, and soon he was bombarded by negative comments.
“This is unprofessional and beneath us,” replied Fred Wellman. “We’re struggling with a civil-military divide already that is directly affecting your ability to recruit from this generation. If you don’t understand the need for people to express sorrow at any death than you have no place leading my kids.”
Others noted that the general seemingly lacked self-awareness, and that people can mourn multiple individuals at once.
“General, grief is not comparable and each loss is significant,” Joe Plenzler wrote. “Why diminish one to elevate another? That seems awfully petty to me and incongruent with Army values.”
Instead of deleting his tweet, Evans doubled down.
“I think my detractors here made my case for me- no one life is any more important than another- regardless the celebrity. Look forward to them Retweeting the story about SPC Moore to demonstrate their conviction.”
Eventually, however, Evans backtracked.
“Allow me to Retweet my original Tweet in the SPIRIT for which it was intended,” he wrote “‘Lots of people mourning a basketball player this morning. I think I’ll use my energy to ALSO remember SPC Moore and his Family.’ I meant no disrespect to the families of the nine who were lost.”
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