LSU apologizes for doctoring photo of young Christian football fans

LSU: Don’t be cross.

Louisiana State University apologized on Monday for removing crosses from a photo of students at a football game who had painted their bodies in school colors.

???We did not intend to offend anyone by the editing of this photograph and in the future we will use another photo rather than make a similar edit,??? reads an apology statement on the LSU Facebook Page authored by Herb Vincent, LSU’s vice chancellor of communications. ???We erred in our judgment and we have communicated our apologies to the group of young men represented in the photo whose school spirit is second to none.???

In the photo, four students who are members of a campus group called LSU Painted Posse gesture at the camera with  their bodies painted yellow, purple and white, but they also painted crosses above their hearts. These crosses were airbrushed by the producers of an LSU promotional newsletter.

???In messages to sports fans we attempt to convey no religious or political messaging,??? the subsequent apology reads.

The Painted Posse has its own Facebook Page, on which it states that its mission is to know Christ and make Him known through a passion for LSU football.

The student group recently posted a statement on its Page that reads, in part, ???We, the members of the Painted Posse, do not agree with the University???s recent decision to airbrush crosses out of the photo of some of our members. We also respect the opinions of those who do not agree with us. Despite what happened, our main focus is to represent Christ.???

???We encourage anyone who would like to honor Jesus Christ to join us by wearing a cross on November 3rd,??? the statement reads. ???We strongly discourage the wearing of a cross as a way to protest the university or its recent decision. We desire that no further negative light would be shone upon the university that we love.???

Facebook user Laura D. Hanauer on the Painted Posse???s Facebook Page wrote, ???They may have photoshopped the cross off your bodies but not out of your hearts! Keep having fun, boys. Go Tigers!???