April 29, 2013
Mike Wallace tweets about gay athlete Jason Collins
Wide receiver Mike Wallace, whom the Miami Dolphins signed as a free agent for his speed, won a race of dubious value: making the first lightning-rod quote or social-media statement after still-active NBA center Jason Collins announced his homosexuality in a Sports Illustrated story.
Wallace tweeted: “All these beautiful women in the world and guys want to mess with other guys...smh [shaking my head].” Five minutes later, he tweeted: “I’m not bashing anybody don’t have anything against anyone. I just don’t understand it.”
Both tweets got deleted within 20 minutes. The ensuing electronic arguments among those castigating Wallace, agreeing with Wallace or at least defending his right to an opinion and expression of that opinion prompted Wallace to later post to Twitter:
“Never said anything was right or wrong I just said I don’t understand! Deeply sorry for anyone I offended.”
Later Monday afternoon, the Dolphins issued a statement:
“Mike Wallace has apologized for his comments, and we have addressed the matter with him. Mike’s comments do not reflect the views of the Miami Dolphins. We believe in a culture of inclusiveness and respect, and any statements to the contrary are in no way acceptable to our organization. We will address the entire team about our policy of inclusion and make sure they all understand the importance of respecting individual choices.”
Collins, a journeyman center who played this season for the Washington Wizards but is currently a free agent, is the first active athlete in the four major U.S. sports to come out as gay. Reaction on Twitter Monday was overwhelmingly positive, with stars such as Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant lauding Collins for his bold move.