Former NFL player Jay Feely is feeling the heat from Twitter users about his daughter’s prom photo
It’s officially prom season for high-schoolers all across the country. For dads like Jay Feely, it’s “threaten your daughter’s date with the ol’ shotgun joke” season. Maybe he doesn’t realize his daughter has agency over her own body and dating decisions? Or that it’s only been two months since the worst school shooting in U.S. history?
Regardless of the fact that it’s supposed to be a “joke,” the whole thing is very… UGH.
Former NFL player Jay Feely took to his Twitter page to share a photo of himself posing with his daughter and her prom date while holding a firearm — apparently in a nod to the movie Bad Boys 2.
— Jay Feely (@jayfeely) April 22, 2018
There’s a lot going on here. First, there’s the fact that Feely (and lots of other dads with daughters, frankly) apparently feels his daughter’s sexual agency somehow impacts his own masculinity and that he has a right to claim ownership of it. Joking or not, this is just not OK. Neither is using a gun for laughs in a photo with two high school students.
Of course, there are plenty of “relax, it’s a joke, quit being offended” responses. But a majority of the reactions to this photo — which quickly went viral — are of the “WTF, dude?” variety.
And out of touch with the idea that the daughter might be in control of her own decisions.— Sarah 🥝 (@itamer) April 22, 2018
There’s also no arguing that this isn’t exactly a solid representation of responsible gun ownership.
This is how people get accidentally shot. I work in Pediatric Rehab. It’s not a joke.— Lori 🇺🇸 (@lcleary1959) April 22, 2018
Many people mentioned if the boy in question was their son, they’d be upset by seeing this photo.
If someone did this to my son. 😡— Stephanie Marie (@smsauceda) April 22, 2018
1) don’t point a gun at a kid. I hope this boy’s parents slap you with a lawsuit or a restraining order.
2) this is really in poor taste considering there are kids who will never see prom thanks to gun violence.
3) way to teach your daughter that she can’t take care of herself. https://t.co/im30eNswFp
— LittlePopWaywardshop (@little_pop_work) April 22, 2018
It’s difficult to look at a photo like this and see “harmless humor” after the Stoneman Douglas massacre. And in 2018, can we all just please realize that the whole Daddy Protects Daughter’s Chastity thing is kinda gross?
Wishing my beautiful daughter and her date *a violent reminder that I consider her my property pic.twitter.com/RDM7SpXBAE
— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) April 22, 2018
Oh yay – American dads have kicked off the season of “let’s pretend I’m going to shoot my daughter’s date for for impugning her chastity” pics. https://t.co/JRkhQTmKRV
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) April 22, 2018
Once I asked my dad why he never acted nuts around dudes I brought home and he said (paraphrasing) “I was always a little more worried about what you’d do to them than I was about what they’d do to you.” https://t.co/fRRixkfIVP
— audible gasp (@morninggloria) April 22, 2018
Dads out there, if you’re looking for tips on how to handle prom season while simultaneously having a daughter of age to attend prom, be like this guy:
I had dinner with my daughter’s date a week before. I asked their plans, told them to call if they needed anything. Told my daughter to take care. No guns necessary. https://t.co/XojIzWTcxW
— Thomas Greene (@doubting_t) April 22, 2018
Following the backlash to his original post, Feely shared an update on the photo.
The prom picture I posted was obviously intended to be a joke. My Daughter has dated her boyfriend for over a year and they knew I was joking.
I take gun safety seriously (the gun was not loaded and had no clip in) and I did not intend to be insensitive to that important issue
— Jay Feely (@jayfeely) April 22, 2018