Penguins staffer ‘disciplined’ after tweeting altered photo of fans with COVID-19 masks

The Penguins have disciplined a social media staffer who tweeted an altered photo from the team’s official Twitter account.

Pittsburgh received flack for the tweet, which showed fans in attendance at the team’s Tuesday game against the Flyers — a 5-2 Penguins win. But eagle-eyed observers quickly noted that the original photo showed two fans incorrectly wearing masks, or not at all.

MORE: NHL COVID-19 case tracker for 2021 season

Here’s the Penguins’ tweet:

And here’s the original. Note that the man at the bottom-center of the photo and the woman in the top right are wearing their masks only over their mouths — not their noses. The original also shows two fans not wearing masks at all (the altered photo conveniently cut them out).

Pittsburgh noted the gaffe in a statement to the New York Post, saying the “perhaps well-meaning” staffer has been “disciplined.”

“We are acknowledged to have our fans back to PPG Paints Arena, and following the advice of medical professionals, we are taking all precautions to enforce the use of masks to keep our fans safe,” the statement read. “We have adopted a zero-tolerance policy, and our arena staff having (sic) roving teams to enforce during home games.

“Our social media team should never send out altered photos to our fan base. This is a violation of our social media and safety policy, and this staffer has been disciplined.”

The Penguins began allowing 15 percent capacity at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday, a day after Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced revised capacity protocols for public venues.

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