An attempt to honor the troops went sideways for the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday when an adult film star in fatigues was honored on the stadium jumbotron instead.
The Vikings had good intentions when they called for fans to share photos and stories of loved ones in the military. The team asked fans to use the hashtag #SkolSalute, a reference to its fight song, for a chance to appear on a jumbotron at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Twitter user @kylerulz4h submitted what he claimed was a photo of “my cousin Joel who served in the Army. He has always been an inspiration and someone I look up to for his heroism,” adding, “He is also a HUGE Vikes fan.”
But it was actually a photo of Johnny Sins, looking the part in U.S. Army fatigues and with a chiseled, clean-shaven jaw line. The photo made it onto the U.S. Bank Stadium jumbotron for a big “thank you” to “Joel.”
The star himself got a kick out of it, replying to the fake tweet: “Ha, that’s awesome!”
Sins, 43, is a fixture on lists of the most-searched-for male adult stars, and has won at least six awards for his work. He’s known for portraying a wide variety of professions – doctor, teacher, engineer, and apparently even soldier.
Other tributes to veterans at the game went off without a hitch. An army sergeant, wounded by an IED in Iraq, was given a new truck and ATV, and several veterans were surprised with a year of free groceries.
The Vikings on Sunday lost 40-3 to the Dallas Cowboys, ending a seven-game winning streak the team had held since beating the Detroit Lions late September.