A report in the Dallas Morning News has us wondering: when is an apology for homophobia and transphobia enough? WIll an “ally training program” fix this kind of attitude problem? Or do you think we should simply excuse some egregious things people did in their youth?
Check out this story and tell us your thoughts in the comments below.
Southern Methodist University hired Brandon Wilkins, 26, as its new assistant men’s golf coach on Monday, and today he offered an apology for anti-gay and anti-transgender tweets that date back to when he was in college, as many as eight years ago. According to the paper, Wilkins will enter into an Ally Training program at SMU.
Wilkins issued this statement to the Dallas Morning News:
“I wish to apologize for comments that I made about LGBTQ+ issues on social media as a college student. They were wrong and I deeply regret them. They do not represent the man I have become over the last five-plus years or reflect my beliefs. I am committed to diversity and inclusion as a person and as a coach. I will continue to educate myself on these issues and commit to Ally Training through SMU’s Women and LGBT Center. Again, I am truly sorry.”
When contacted by the paper, Wilkins declined to be interviewed, deleted his tweets and closed his Twitter account, but not before a reporter copied them for their story.
“I have nothing against gays,” Wilkins tweeted in January 2014, when he was 20 years old. “I dont support it. But what irritates me is when they flaunt it an make it seem that everyone should agree w it”
Then in April 2015, when he was 21, Wilkins tweeted: “You know what’s brave soldiers standing on the front lines fighting for our country, not some person talking about their sex change.”
As an 18-year-old, he tweeted: “Yeah you have the right to be gay but I have the right to condemn it and not condone it #freedomofspeech #ChickFilA”
Wilkins’ primary duties at SMU are to coach and recruit for the Mustangs men’s golf program.
According to the paper, SMU condemned the tweets. Athletics department spokesperson Brad Sutton said in a statement that during the hiring process, they never come up.
“SMU Athletics was unaware of the social media posts but condemns the sentiments expressed in them,” Sutton wrote. “Background checks and character references we conducted with his two former employers did not reveal any related concerns. We will hold Brandon accountable to demonstrating his commitment to diversity and inclusion, to include continuing education.”
Before SMU, Wilkins was an assistant coach at the University of Denver for the last two seasons. Before that, he served as an assistant at Abilene Christian University for two years. Wilkins graduated from ACU in 2012.
The Dallas Morning News described his work at ACU and in Denver as “successful.”
Here are some reactions to tweets about Wilkins’ apology. We hope you’ll add your thoughts in the comments below. Was an apology enough? Do you think ally training is the answer?
Ok, so we continue to look in the past. Fantastic.
— Hook‘Em21 (@pauldorn21) July 2, 2020
can you imagine the miserable life of someone that actually checked this shit out…..hope he does well
— golfmentor (@ringadingking) July 2, 2020