Pittsburgh Penguins admit they photographed followers carrying masks

The Penguins have confirmed that this image has been changed in a post they posted on Twitter to thank their fans. (Photo by Jeanine Leech / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

A Pittsburgh Penguins social media employee was apparently disciplined by the organization for making minor adjustments to a photo thanking fans for their loyalty and support after opening the doors at the PPG Paints Arena for the first time since Opened to viewers for almost a year this week.

A wide-angle shot of a section of the stadium had at least two adjustments made to an original Getty image to properly cover the faces of two fans in the building for the Penguins’ 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

The majority of the fans in the photo or a small selection of 2,800 visitors who were allowed to enter the arena were wearing their masks properly.

The Photoshop work was quickly identified on social channels and the penguins themselves were poked. In a statement by the New York Post, the penguins recognized the change and “reprimanded” the “perhaps well-intentioned” person responsible for the deterioration in image.

“Our social media team should never send altered photos to our fan base,” the statement said. “This is a violation of our social media and safety guidelines.”

Details of the punishment are obviously unknown, but it reads a little harsh on the employee who may or may not have become a villain. Obviously, the employee’s intentions were in no way malicious and the Photoshop was an attempt to do some positive public relations for the benefit of the club. Obviously, it is extremely difficult to control the mask-wearing practices of thousands of people at the same time, and it will be nearly impossible to capture a flawless moment in the stands at any sporting event that requires the wearing of masks.

The story goes on

The penguins say they have put in place a zero tolerance policy for the wearing of masks and that staff will monitor fans during games.

Inevitably, there will be mounting pain as fans return to the stadiums. However, these problems clearly apply to those responsible for accurately covering their re-entry as well.

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