The traditional flimsy excuse for celebrities who tweeted something idiotic has always been claiming that their account was hacked.
Leave it to Marshall Henderson to concoct a new twist.
The polarizing former Ole Miss star insisted Monday that a reprehensible tweet he sent out earlier in the day about Saint Louis Rams draft pick Michael Sam was actually meant to help a friend with an assignment for a psychology class. The tweet in question expressed disgust at the widespread coverage of Sam becoming the first openly gay NFL player on Saturday:
If Henderson's goal was merely to generate a reaction, the thousands of responses and dozens of stories on national media outlets are proof he succeeded. Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork even felt compelled to apologize for Henderson's words, tweeting that the school uses "significant resources to educate our student-athletes about respect and dignity for all people and unfortunately not everyone gets it."
Henderson at first defended his initial message, tweeting "Who is the worse person, me for what I said or any of the HUNDREDS who just cursed me??" Only after the barrage of criticism continued did the former Ole Miss star alter his approach.
THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR YOUR INPUT AND RESPONSES!!! MY NEXT TWEET IS REALLY GONNA THROW EVERYONE A CURVEBALL— marshall henderson (@NativeFlash22) May 12, 2014
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— marshall henderson (@NativeFlash22) May 12, 2014
The point of his study was to see how people react when others say things or act a certain way against another group of people ... TBC— marshall henderson (@NativeFlash22) May 12, 2014
It's difficult to believe Henderson's story that his initial tweet was essentially a psychology experiment, but whether he's telling the truth or not doesn't matter. He still owes Sam an apology. Either Henderson exposed himself as a bigot and is trying to back off it, or he acted thoughtlessly and doesn't understand the potential harm his words can cause.
That Henderson would do something like this should come as no surprise considering his history of erratic behavior and ill-advised decisions.
This is a guy who once tried to use counterfeit money to buy marijuana as a high school senior. This is a guy who once got suspended for punching a BYU player while at Utah. This is a guy who served jail time after violating his probation testing positive for marijuana and cocaine. This is a guy who gave an entire arena full of fans the double bird after an NCAA tournament loss. And this is a guy who wrote an apology letter to Ole Miss fans pledging to be more of a leader after that incident, only to get himself suspended for drug use weeks later.
Most athletes have been overwhelmingly supportive of Sam as the former Missouri defensive end attempts to become the first openly gay NFL player, but Henderson is not the only one to express criticism. Miami Dolphins defensive back Don Jones was fined an undisclosed amount and banned from team activities until he undergoes sensitivity training after he sent out a tweet critical of Sam on Saturday night.
Jones apologized profusely for his tweet. Henderson, needless to say, went in a slightly different direction.
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