Google News 09/30: Iowa man’s viral fundraiser thwarted by old tweets
Two weeks ago, 24 year-old Carson King stood in the audience of an ESPN college game-day report in Ames, Iowa and held up a sign requesting Venmo payments to quench his thirst for Busch Light beer.
Money started pouring in, and when his tongue-in-cheek gesture earned him $600 dollars, King decided that there were more noble uses for it than enabling his drinking habits. He announced that he would be donating the funds to the Stead Family Children’s Hospital at the nearby University of Iowa.
Inspired by the move, Busch Light decided to match his donations; Venmo soon followed suit. Within a couple of days, King had managed to raise $60,000 for the hospital; as of today, that number is around $2 million.
It was a heart-warming and uncharacteristically selfless use of newfound internet fame, which catapulted the casino security guard into national renown. His kindness encapsulated the ‘Iowa nice’ attitude of his home state, earning him a visit with the Governor, who declared September 28th, 2019 to be Carson King Day.
But when a reporter for the Des Moines Register started doing research for a profile piece about the local celebrity, he found some racially-insensitive tweets dating back from 2012, when King was 16 years old.
The reporter immediately contacted King to ask for his comments, and by the Register’s own account, he was immediately remorseful. Having been made aware of the unsavory tweets, King took it on himself to acknowledge them, contacting local news stations and apologizing for his past actions:
“I am embarrassed and stunned to reflect on what I thought was funny when I was 16 years old. I want to sincerely apologize. Thankfully, high school kids grow up and hopefully become responsible and caring adults.”
As a result of the resurfaced tweets, Anheuser-Busch distanced itself from King, deleting all its tweets about him and cancelling its plan to send him a year’s supply of the beer with his face on it. Luckily, both Anheuser-Busch and Venmo still honored their commitment to match donations made to the children’s hospital.