Kyler Murray used the “Q” word on Twitter when he was 14- and 15-years-old.
Then the University of Oklahoma quarterback did something even more unacceptable — he won the Heisman Trophy.
Murray has, by all accounts, been a model student-athlete at Oklahoma. There’s never been a hint of controversy around anything he’s done on the field. The greatest “controversy” he has been involved in is whether he should choose to play football or baseball professionally (he’s already been drafted by MLB).
But within hours after Murray won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday, a USA Today reporter was digging into his past, stalking his Twitter profile from seven years ago.
It was then, when Murray was 14 or 15 or both, that he made a series of tweets “at” his friends, calling them “queer,” the once-popular derogatory slang for a homosexual male.
To understand the breadth of the Twitter-stalking, understand this: because Murray’s now-deleted tweets were made “at” his friends, they were not visible by default on his Timeline. If I tweet “at” you, starting the tweet with @username, the tweet is only visible in others’ feeds if they follow both @benwgarrett and @username. Otherwise, they only see the tweet if they view my Twitter profile, and click the “Tweets & replies” category.
So it’s unclear how many people saw Murray’s tweets when they were originally posted more than six years ago — probably not many. But considering he has tweeted more than 4,000 times since joining Twitter, someone certainly had to do some digging Saturday night to find them.
This trend of dredging up someone’s past as a means of toppling them has gone beyond the point of absurdity, but this is a new low. Dragging out a 15-year-old kid’s tweets from when he was just starting high school and throwing them in his face when he’s reached the individual pinnacle of his sport is despicable and shameful. It’s little wonder America’s trust in the mainstream news media is at an all-time low, and the USA Today and Yahoo Sports should be ashamed of themselves for allowing their journalistic platforms to be used for such nonsense.
There are two things going on here. One is the mob mentality that has been adopted by the social justice warriors and the virtual kangaroo courts they’ve created. It’s bad enough when you and I — common folks who don’t capture the imagination of America — are dragged through the streets of the social media world and shamed over some innocuous comment that was made years ago.
The second is America’s disdain for success. When someone reaches the top, it becomes a frenzy to try to tear them down. No one cared about anti-gay tweets made seven years ago by comedian Kevin Hart . . . until he was chosen to host the Oscars, and suddenly it was such a big deal that he was forced to resign. No one cared about tweets Murray made as a young teenager . . . until he won the Heisman Trophy.
As the USA Today’s story spread on Sunday, there was far more outrage directed at the newspaper and at the social justice crowd than there was at Murray. As The Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro said on a Fox News appearance, “The idea that you’re making the world a purer, better place for investigating every single thing a person put on a social media site back 10, 15 years ago is just absurd. It’s making the world a much worse place, a much more paranoid place.”
Instead of becoming outraged, then forgetting about it, perhaps its time for the vast majority of Americans who find this nonsensical trend disturbing to actually stand up to the social justice mobs. Refuse to buy into the hysteria, support the victims of the mobs, then push back against the mobs. It’s impossible to shut them up; one of the dark underbellies of social media is that they’ll always have a platform. But we can — and should — expect more from America’s mainstream media institutions than to have the mob’s voices carried from relative obscurity and to the masses.
Take a stand, or wait until it’s your turn to fall victim.