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 via Twitter and comments on Facebook about Wilkins’ apology. We hope you’ll scroll down and add your thoughts in the comments section 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
18-20 year olds say stupid shit. I’d give him a shot to lead a better life and see how it goes.— DesertMan (@SouthOVegas) July 2, 2020
I agree. If he has truly come to an understanding and acceptance. Hes only 26 so he isn't all that far from his 'previous' views. But he can still learn and grow, like the rest of us. Time will tell.— Frass E. Bones (@frassebones) July 2, 2020
No.— Bach (@Bachbottom) July 3, 2020
Bigots are sorry they got caught, called out, or more so their just sorry their hst3e out their income on the line. They are not sorry about being hate filled meat sacks, and all this does is teach them how to be a better liar.
Mike Phalen There’s a difference between having opinions and having your opinions affect someone else’s life. Wilkins should keep his job and go through “ally training.” He doesn’t deserve to be fired unless his prejudices affect his job performance. Tell me honestly if you believe you should lose your job over something you said yesterday or a 10,000 yesterdays ago.
Michelle Horn It never ceases to amaze me with how much white “Christian” men are able to get away with. As a gay woman I’m supposed to forgive him because he apologized after his homophobia was made public?
Ron Knudson He is young, perhaps he has learned.
Trey Martin-Ellis So, he didn’t delete the tweets or apologize until AFTER someone in the media found them. No... no pass for this guy.
Bobby Farino So you are saying you have never made an inappropriate remark? People grow, don’t be so quick to condemn others.
Trey Martin-Ellis I’m saying that if you only apologize only AFTER you get caught, then I’m skeptical that you are truly sorry.
Jason Wyckoff I do not think he should be fired. People’s opinions can change. Look at the amount of current people who we do support who at one time said gay people should not be allowed to be married. I do think if any current things come to light about this, then yes he should be fired. I have another question to add to this. If you think he should be fired from being an assistant golf coach, what kind of job would you be ok with him having? What should his next career be to help him earn money to support his family?
Bobby Farino I agree people can grow. I am getting somewhat tired of cancel culture.
Jay Glass He’s handsome, keep him!❤️
Golfina Ch A person’s opinions, beliefs, attitudes, demeanors could change quite drastically between age 18-26, especially during college years when you come into contact with new people with different backgrounds and convictions. I doubt he’s the same person as when he was 18-19 (unless there are new, recent tweets). Give him a chance!
Eric Michael That’s not an apology. That’s a statement from SMU’s PR team. A real apology isn’t just saying I regret it, it was wrong and I’m sorry. An apology acknowledges the harm someone’s actions or words have done and ASKS for forgiveness. This statement says “I’m sorry” in a way that seems to expect forgiveness. It’s insincere and smacks of a “cover my ass and go through the motions” apology. If there was any shred of contrition in his statement I’d say give him a chance. But we need to stop accepting pro forma boilerplate apologies. I say cut him loose.
Joni Zornes If there were no more offensive recent tweets or posts found since 2015, then maybe he has changed, but it needs to be looked into with a wary eye. As a leader he definitely needs to demonstrate he’s fit to be a leader for all, beyond going to an ally class. If he takes an active role in being affirming and supporting the LGBT community and especially his athletes, then he can use his past as a teaching tool to help others recover from anti-LGBT pasts. If he’s unwilling to do that, he’s not worthy of being a coach or leader of young people.
Jerry Lee The world has changed a lot in the last 8 years. A lot of behaviors that’s were permissible back then are now not acceptable. He should be given a chance. We dont make allies by classifying everyone who has said stupid shit in the long forgotten past as a enemy.
Kyle Szen People can change. Especially within the last 8 years, a willingness to change is appreciated and should be welcomed. BUT is deleting a post enough and is an apology enough? Would this change of heart have happened if the accusations were not made public? What kind of leaders does SMU want to employ? I hope they keep him accountable for the ally training.
Joni Zornes In the past 8 years there has been a sea change in attitudes towards the LGBT community for the better. trump has stymied that change and emboldened the haters to come out of the woodwork, but as loud as they are, I believe the tide will eventually turn even more in our favor, as he and his cult followers are swept into the dustbin of history and crawl like shadows back into the pits of the woodwork.
Tim Landolt Trump trash fuckoff
Tia Thompson Once a bigot, ALWAYS a bigot ♀️
Richard T. Reinhard Incredibly out of touch for a young guy. Or in denial. Wonder if he plays golf with 1950s clubs.
Thomas Attonito Richard T. Reinhard he pings the gaydar
Richard T. Reinhard I was going to say with hickory shafts and gutta percha balls but thought better.
Got an opinion? Tell us in the comments section below!