Athletes reveal true selves on Twitter after NFL player kisses boyfriend on ESPN

A Miami Dolphins player is suspended for a negative Twitter reaction. But he wasn't alone in expressing his disapproval.

hend.png
Just an experiment, folks. DLHQonESPN screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Men kiss men.

I thought I'd start with that, just in case you didn't know.

It seems, you see, that parts of America who may or may not have been aware of this fact, were suddenly rendered insensate because they saw it happen on America's favorite sports channel.

It was as if they had turned away at the intimate parts of "Brokeback Mountain." It was as if they'd never heard of Anderson Cooper. It was as if they thought Ricky Martin and Elton John were fictional characters.

On suddenly being exposed to NFL draftee Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend on ESPN, just because he'd got drafted by the St. Louis Rams, some turned to the one place they know their feelings can be heard.

Yes, Twitter.

First it was Miami Dolphins cornerback Don Jones. He offered the thoughtful: "OMG" and "Horrible," as his reactions to the footage of one happy man sharing his happiness with another happy man.

As Pro Football Talk reports, he was suspended and fined by his team for his thoughts and duly emitted expressions of apology.

He was not alone in the sports world, though, to succumb to the modern version of Pavlov's social media doggery.

Please consider the case of former Ole Miss basketball player Marshall Henderson. He tweeted nothing as short, sharp, and horrible as Jones.

Instead, he mused: "Boycotting sportscenter til this michael sam nasty ass s*** is off....My brothers are 7 and 11 and saw that!! #SICKENING."

Hashtag sickening, indeed. But what some might find equally less than healthy were his attempts at social media damage control.

As Fox Sports reports, Henderson wasn't going to stoop to claims of being hacked. Instead, he explained: "One of my best friends, WHO IS GAY, is about to graduate in psychology, asked me to say these things so he can have responses ... TBC."

Of course. What else could this have been? All about-to-graduate students are still performing research.

Here was a social experiment and the fools were his 67,000 Twitter followers. How could they not have seen through it? More sportsmen should use Twitter for psychology research. It's so cheap.

Henderson, though, knew that he had to explain further to the clueless who hadn't grasped his intent.

Through several tweets, he explained: "He chose gays because of how he relates to it and has to live it EVERYDAY of his life ... He asked me because he knew I would get incredible feedback, and OMG how crazy you people are lol ... It is absolutely amazing to see what people have said, whether agreeing or disagreeing."

OMG. LOL. Crazy.

He could stop while he thought he was winning, though. "ITS CALLED PSYCHOLOGY .... and everyone just got taken to school."

Actually, talking of school, Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork thought he'd take to Twitter too: "I'm extremely disappointed & we do not condone the statements made by our former bball player. We believe in respect & dignity for all."

There's something compelling about the way that Twitter compels even the celebrated and the exalted to bare their innards in an instant.

They can't help themselves, perhaps because they've never thought they ever needed help. They always know what they're doing, until, well, they have to do some psychological research.

As for Marshall Henderson's Twitter handle: NativeFlash22. Twitter is just one more way he can give us flashes of inspiration.

 

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