Just hours after the NBA’s Jason Collins became first openly gay athlete in any major US team sport came out, a player from the NFL tweeted to say that he didn’t understand why a male athlete would “wanna mess with other guys”.
Mike Wallace, a player for the Miami Dolphins, took to twitter to respond to Jason Collins, the first NBA player to come out, and continue playing, noting that he personally found women attractive, and suggesting that being gay is a choice.
Jason Collins today spoke about his sexuality, confirming he is gay in an article to Sports Illustrated magazine. He said: “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.
26-year-old Wallace responded on Twitter, saying: “All these beautiful women in the world and guys wanna mess with other guys SMH (shakin’ my head) …”
Shortly afterwards, Wallace deleted the tweet, and later replaced it with an apology for offence caused, claiming that it was not meant to cast judgement on anyone’s sexuality.
He said: “Never said anything was right or wrong I just said I don’t understand!! Deeply sorry for anyone that I offended.”
Wallace’s team, the Miami Dolphins, later released a statement distancing the team from his comments, and saying that he was expressing his own personal view. It said Wallace had been “addressed” regarding the tweet, and said the team would reiterate its nondiscrimination policy to the rest of the team.
It read: “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.”
The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, as well as thousands of others, have tweeted their support for Jason Collins, the professional basketball player who today became the first openly gay athlete in any major US team sport.
As the world congratulated, and deliberated over Collins’ decision to come out, he expressed gratitude for the support, and said he felt inspired.
All the support I have received today is truly inspirational. I knew that I was choosing the road less traveled but I’m not walking it alone
— Jason Collins (@jasoncollins34) April 29, 2013