British Airways has come under fire for what, at first glance, may seem like a perfectly innocent tweet.

The airline company posted a short video to Twitter at around 5am this morning in relation to the Autumn Nations Cup rugby match taking place at 4pm today.

The face-off is between the Welsh team and the English team. In other words, two British teams.

For those not too hot on British geography, Britain is comprised of England, Scotland and Wales, while the United Kingdom also encompasses Northern Ireland.

As such, it seems odd for a company with “British” in its name to pick one team to support over another. But the British Airways video explicitly supports England, with a branded graphic saying “good luck England” as grass in the shape of a rugby ball flies through the air.

Understandably, this did not go down well, and people were quick to call out the company for seeming to have their own definition of what “British” actually means.

The tweet appears to have since been deleted, but the video was viewed more than 150,000 times, and many Welsh people in particular seemed disappointed in the brand.

However, lots of people also pointed out what may be an obvious explanation for the blunder. British Airways is actually a sponsor for the England team, which would make their support for England over Wales a little more logical.

The partnership was announced in 2018. It made British Airways the “official airline partner” for both the men’s and women’s England rugby teams, and the principle partner to Twickenham Stadium. 

It would make sense for a brand to back a sports team they sponsored of course, but unfortunately in this instance, it seems they may have mis-judged the optics.

In a statement to indy100 , British Airways apologised for the tweet, saying: “We are proud sponsors of England Rugby but on this occasion we unintentionally strayed offside, for which we are sorry.”

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