issued an apology on Monday after posting a 9/11-themed sports-betting wager to entice people to bet on baseball and football games on the anniversary of the 2001 terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in the U.S.
“We sincerely apologize for the featured parlay that was shared briefly in commemoration of 9/11,” the company wrote. “We respect the significance of this day for our country and especially for the families of those who were directly affected.”
The sports-betting giant offered users a Sept. 11 promotion that required three New York-based teams — the Yankees, Mets and Jets — to win their games Monday, the 22nd anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The promotion on DraftKings’ online sportsbook was titled “Never Forget.”
DraftKings, one of the leading sports-betting operators in the U.S., did not say how many people placed bets as a result of the offer, or whether those bets remain valid or have been canceled.
Bret Eagleson, whose father, Bruce, was killed in the World Trade Center, runs an organization for families and first responders called 9/11 Justice. He lamented the DraftKings betting promotion offer as “tone-deaf.”
“It is shameful to use the national tragedy of 9/11 to promote a business,” he told the Associated Press. “We need accountability, justice and closure, not self-interest and shameless promotion.”
It’s been 22 years since the hijacked plane attacks claimed nearly 3,000 lives — in New York City, at the Pentagon in Virginia and on Flight 93, which crashed in a field in Shanksville, Penn. — with profound effects on U.S. foreign and national security policy.
Since the attacks, more than 71,000 people have been diagnosed with physical or mental health conditions after being exposed to dust, smoke and debris and experiencing trauma of the 9/11 attacks, according to the World Trade Center Health Program.
Many politicians gathered in New York City on Monday at a 9/11 memorial ceremony, including Vice President Kamala Harris, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and New York Mayor Eric Adams. President Joe Biden is scheduled to mark the day of remembrance this evening at a military base in Anchorage, Alaska. Biden’s speech can be streamed live on the White House’s YouTube channel.
The Associated Press contributed.