News and Commentary

BACKFIRE: USA Today Gets Blasted For Hit Piece About Heisman Winner’s Tweets Immediately After He Won

University of Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, 21, won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night in what was most likely one of the greatest — if not the greatest — moment of his life.

Enter USA Today blogger Scott Gleeson, who covers “social issues through a sports lens.”

Shortly after Murray won the Heisman, Gleeson wrote an article highlighting a couple of things that Murray tweeted from when he was 15-years-old:

But the Oklahoma quarterback’s memorable night also helped resurface social media’s memory of several homophobic tweets more than six years old.

When Murray was 15 years old, he tweeted at his friends (via his since-verified Twitter account) using an anti-gay slur to defame them.

Gleeson embarrassingly included this line in his piece:

The Oklahoma athletics department did not immediately respond to an inquiry by USA TODAY Sports regarding the tweets late Saturday night.

Gleeson thought that OU’s athletic department was going to respond to him late on Saturday night as they were celebrating one of their athletes winning the Heisman Trophy.

Murray apologized for his tweets, writing: “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.”

The best part about the absurd USA Today piece was the widespread scorn, mockery, and backlash it invoked on social media. Here are some of the highlights (Warning: some of the tweets contain profanity):