Feb. 23--(RNS) An Internet sports news and information service has agreed to discontinue an advertisement after some Muslims said its portrayal of Islamic religious practices was offensive. "It is to Total Sports' credit that it responded immediately and positively to American Muslim concerns," said Omar Ahmad, chairman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an advocacy group that asked Total Sports Inc., a North Carolina firm, to pull the ad. In the advertisement, which appeared on the Internet and in a variety of publications, several Muslims were shown "praying" to a basketball. Some Muslims offended by the ad complained to the council, which then contacted Total Sports. In addition to requesting that the company stop using the ad, the group asked Total Sports to formally apologize to the American Muslim community and suggested its marketing department undergo religious sensitivity training. "Total Sports did not intend to offend anyone with its depiction and certainly apologizes if the advertisement did so," Total Sports Chairman and CEO Frank Daniels III wrote in his response to the group. "We do not intend for the image to appear again."
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