Just hours after clinching the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray found himself in hot water — coincidentally, for the same thing that led Kevin Hart to step down from hosting the Oscars this week: homophobic comments. Hart made his comments during his comedy routines, while Murray made the remarks on Twitter when he was still a teenager.
“I apologize for the tweets that have come to light tonight from when I was 14 and 15,” Murray wrote, referring to comments in which he repeatedly used the word “queers,” seemingly to mock friends. “I used a poor choice of word that doesn’t reflect who I am or what I believe,” his apology continued. “I did not intend to single out any individual or group.”
I apologize for the tweets that have come to light tonight from when I was 14 and 15. I used a poor choice of word that doesn’t reflect who I am or what I believe. I did not intend to single out any individual or group.
— Kyler Murray (@TheKylerMurray) December 9, 2018
Earlier on Saturday, Murray was welcomed as the second consecutive Oklahoma quarterback to be awarded the Heisman. But many on Twitter considered the homophobic jokes to be a major issue. “Mammas and daddies, please teach your kids homophobia, racism, misogyny is just not funny. Really, it is not that hard,” tweeted CNN’s Ana Navarro.
“I can’t believe that the the Heisman Trophy was awarded to a homophobic bigot!” a user named Kirk Wilcox wrote. “I don’t care if he made these tweets at age 15, HE NEEDS TO PAY. Every NFL team should refuse to draft Kyler Murray, and his Oklahoma transcripts should be tossed into a volcano 🙄”
But while some immediately moved to vilify Murray — who plans to play professional baseball, not football — others quickly came to his defense. “I’m gay and I’m tellin ya….you don’t need to apologize,” tweeted Alex Rozier. “And as a journalist, I’m sorry that was ever published. Celebrate your Heisman. Congratulations.”
“It is utterly contemptible that multiple news outlets wrote about Kyler Murray’s high school tweets,” wrote Reason reporter Robby Soave. “Various headlines claimed they ‘resurfaced,’ which is doublespeak: you resurfaced them, for no reason at all. Shame on you all.”
I’m gay and I’m tellin ya….you don’t need to apologize. And as a journalist, I’m sorry that was ever published. Celebrate your Heisman. Congratulations.
— Alex Rozier (@AlexRozierK5) December 9, 2018
It is utterly contemptible that multiple news outlets wrote about Kyler Murray's high school tweets. Various headlines claimed they "resurfaced," which is doublespeak: you resurfaced them, for no reason at all. Shame on you all. https://t.co/NYBHSm0cqt
— Robby Soave (@robbysoave) December 9, 2018
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
- Kevin Hart responds to backlash surrounding Oscars gig after old homophobic tweets surface
- People are not happy with comedian Kevin Hart throwing his son a cowboys and Indians party
- ‘Toxic masculinity is real’: The internet debates Kevin Hart stepping down as Oscars host over homophobic comments