Calling out a charity on their fundraising tactics is a recipe for disaster.
On Sunday night, the Dallas Cowboys won a game with huge playoff implications against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the big story on Monday morning wasn’t the final score (26-20, Cowboys), but rather the ingenious touchdown celebration by Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott. After finding his way to the end zone, Elliott, ignoring a league mandate against celebrations (or on-field fun of any kind), jumped into a giant replica Salvation Army bucket.
Here’s the play in question, followed by the cute celebration:
#FEEDZEKE #FEEDZEKE #FEEDZEKE #FEEDZEKE TOUCHDOWN, @ezekielelliott! #DallasCowboys https://t.co/xGqO4TGHe6— NFL (@NFL) 1482113667.0
The aftermath led to the inevitable 15-yard “excessive celebration” penalty, but it also led to the awesome hashtag #feedzeke, crafted by the NFL itself. And the Salvation Army, knowing an opportunity when they see one, shot out a tweet reminding people to donate to their cause:
Zeke made an important contribution for the @dallascowboys tonight. Can you contribute to the millions in need?… https://t.co/q6T996H2jO— Salvation Army USA (@Salvation Army USA) 1482116772.0
Then, ESPN business reporter Darren Rovell, known for his “colorful” takes on the sports world, sorta chastised the Salvation Army for...well, trying to raise money:
Not subtle. Salvation Army using Elliott now to ask for your money. https://t.co/KRj49Y08t6— Darren Rovell (@Darren Rovell) 1482117524.0
Of course, most people thought the same thing in response to Rovell’s tweet, but before too much outrage and snark could be mustered by the internet, the Salvation Army responded with the last word on the matter:
@darrenrovell Our goal is to serve 58 million meals in the U.S. this year. No time to be subtle.— Salvation Army USA (@Salvation Army USA) 1482117702.0
That’s...hard to argue with.
But because this is Darren Rovell, that wasn’t the last word. His response managed to be both magnanimous and a little condescending at the same time:
@SalvationArmyUS outstanding response.— Darren Rovell (@Darren Rovell) 1482120594.0
Translated: “Way to call me out on my dumb statement. Kudos. That was a test. You passed.”
Anyway, regardless of how Darren Rovell feels about the subtlety of fundraising efforts, there are many in need this winter, so donate to whatever charity your heart desires.