An American Red Cross swim safety sign has been removed from public pools and its website after several people deemed it racist. The poster, which demonstrates "cool" and "not cool" actions when it comes to pool safety rules, features both white children and children of color. However, a majority of the rule breakers are children of color, one who's pictured diving into the pool and another who's pushing a white child off the pool edge.
"We need to hold the Red Cross accountable for the publication of this poster, and demand that it is retracted and replaced at pools across the country," Margaret Sawyer — who is among the people who reported the poster — said in a post to Facebook. "Hopefully it will spark a broader dialogue about racism in pools. Staff at both of these city pools had never noticed anything wrong with this poster. Horrifying that children across the country are absorbing this message."
The Red Cross has since issued an apology on its website: "We deeply apologize for any misunderstanding, as it was absolutely not our intent to offend anyone. As one of the nation's oldest and largest humanitarian organizations, we are committed to diversity and inclusion in all that we do, every day. To this end, we have removed the poster from our website and Swim App and have discontinued production."