USA Today Attacks Heisman Trophy Winner for ‘Offensive Tweets,’ Internet Defends Player
Within hours of winning the Heisman Trophy, college football’s highest honor, the recipient of the award was attacked by hotel tabloid USA Today over four Tweets described has “homophobic,” sent when the player was 14 and 15 years old.
“As of early Sunday morning, four offensive tweets using an anti-gay slur remained active on the Heisman winner’s account,” said USA Today in a Tweet, linking to a story about Oklahoma University’s Kyler Murray.
As of early Sunday morning, four offensive tweets using an anti-gay slur remained active on the Heisman winner's account https://t.co/K0hQ6MI7up
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) December 9, 2018
Murray used the word “queer” in six separate Tweets between 2011 and 2012, seven and eight years ago, respectively, when he was a child. For that, he was shamed by USA Today on the biggest night of his life and goaded into an apology. Consequently – and rightfully – the internet stepped in to defend Murray.
“Can someone organize a boycott of USA Today?” asked AEI Scholar and modern feminism critic Christina Hoff Sommers.
Can someone organize a boycott of USA Today?
— Christina Sommers (@CHSommers) December 9, 2018
“Instead of using this young man’s accomplishments and story as inspiration for other young athletes, you attempt to ruin him by focusing on a small mistake he made as a teenager on social media. This is why people feel like the media is their enemy,” said Twitter user @dfresh2001.
“And this is why your paper is given away at hotels, and people still don’t read it,” said Twitter user @griff_golf.
And this is why your paper is given away at hotels, and people still don’t read it.
— Double Bogey ⛳ (@griff_golf) December 9, 2018
The original USA Today tweet received only about 400 retweets, while it garnered more than 7,000 responses, mostly in defense of Murray.
The upstanding young man was also drafted 9th overall by Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics in the 2018 draft, and will reportedly head to Athletics spring training in 2019.
His future is likely brighter than that of USA Today.