South Carolina newspaper facing massive backlash after ‘Hilinski’s Hope’ headline

South Carolina’s ‘The State’ newspaper has issued an apology for a poorly worded headline, which led to massive backlash on the internet.

The South Carolina Gamecocks lost their game against the Missouri Tigers on Saturday, despite the efforts of freshman quarterback Ryan Hilinski. He is the brother of Tyler Hilinski, a Washington State University quarterback who committed suicide in 2018, which led to the foundation of ‘Hilinski’s Hope,’ a prominent non-profit organization started by his family.

In an unfortunately-worded headline, ‘The State’ printed coverage of the game, saying ‘Hilinski Hope Sinks.’

How can this happen ⁦

— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) September 22, 2019

The backlash was swift and merciless from the internet, and The State was quick to issue an apology and an explanation.

Our sincerest apologies to the Hilinski family today for the unfortunate headline in our print edition today. Hilinski’s Hope works to raise awareness about mental health issues, especially for student-athletes.

— The State Newspaper (@thestate) September 22, 2019

According to the newspaper, the copy editors have to trim headlines to fit into the space available in newspapers, cutting the headline down to as few words as possible. Others claimed the headline was intentional and cruel.

The print editions of our company’s newspapers in both South Carolina and North Carolina are put together by copy editors based in Charlotte. They handle duties such as trimming stories to available space, editing photo captions and rewording long headlines /2

— The State Newspaper (@thestate) September 22, 2019

Again, we offer this only as an explanation for transparency’s sake. There’s still no excuse for what happened here, and we are deeply sorry. /4

— The State Newspaper (@thestate) September 22, 2019