Kyler Murray won one of college football’s highest honors on Saturday as he was awarded the Heisman Trophy for his excellence as quarterback for Oklahoma, but USA Today wasn’t focused on his football accomplishments.
In a report published late Saturday night, USA Today dug up several tweets and claimed that Murray had made homophobic statements on Twitter. According to the report, Murray called one of his friends a “queer” in 2012. He was 15 years old at the time of the tweet.
In response to this hit from USA Today, Murray humbly apologized for the comments he had made when he was a teen. He penned the apology in the early hours of Sunday morning, just hours after he won the Heisman Trophy.
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
Still, his apology wasn’t enough for USA Today. They slammed him on Twitter for not deleting the old tweets as soon as he was hit with the story — at two in the morning, central time.
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
Although Murray clearly regrets using insensitive language when he was a kid, many came to his defense and condemned USA Today for targeting him on the day he won the Heisman trophy.
"Old" as in said Heisman trophy winner was 15 at the time. The tweets are offensive but dredging up this stuff from when he was a kid is also right up there… https://t.co/fyW16DzrA6
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) December 9, 2018
Remained active. What bullshit framing. They’re from years ago. When he was a teen. Fuck this shit. https://t.co/8nOvLnIrs6
— Bethany S. Mandel (@bethanyshondark) December 9, 2018
They didn't "surface." You dug them up. https://t.co/7IgwRrG50J
— Jim Treacher (@jtLOL) December 9, 2018
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) December 9, 2018
Here's how the political Left would spin this:
White man Scott Gleeson writes hit piece on young black man immediately after the young black man won one of the top awards in all of sport. Why is Scott Gleeson a racist? https://t.co/inhsuSgpC4
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) December 9, 2018
A 15 or 16 year old kid’s Tweets aren’t a story. What should be a story? The loser adults spending hours combing through old teenager Tweets to try and ruin someone on the night of their biggest accomplishment. Congrats to Kyler Murray on the Heisman.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) December 9, 2018
Murray won the Heisman Trophy for his stunning performances on the football field, but he also shines on the baseball diamond. He would likely be a top pick in the NFL draft, but he has already signed a deal with the Oakland A’s to play Major League Baseball.
He can still make a choice to delay his baseball career for a few years in the NFL but that decision has yet to be made.
Although USA Today decided to pick apart Murray’s past, he clearly has a bright future ahead of him, no matter what sport he chooses.