Bored out of their minds due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Houston Rockets decided to offer to make custom wallpapers for their fans. On Twitter, Rockets diehards could request any name and number on any color jersey of their choosing. One user -- who might or might not have been joking -- asked for the name Adolf, the number 88, and a red background. Unaware of the Nazi connotations of that combination of name, number, and color the Rockets unfortunately made that fan their offensive wallpaper and tweeted it right at him.
The No. 88 is used by various white supremacist and neo-fascist groups as shorthand for "HH," or "Heil Hitler," as H is the eighth letter of the alphabet. The choice of the name Adolf naturally requires no explanation. Additionally, the color red is featured in certain fascist imagery.
The Rockets, to their modest credit, did delete the tweet almost immediately. However, an official NBA franchise account firing off an obvious Nazi reference is not the sort of thing Twitter will or should forget immediately --unless a profuse apology comes from the organization.
Even if the person making these wallpapers didn't realize what the number 88 means or the fact that the "fan" who asked for it might have been pulling their leg, this is as big a mistake as they could have possibly made in this whole exercise. The organization needs to issue a public mea culpa for this irresponsible and offensive slip-up, and fast.