For everything Dolfans can expect Mike Wallace to be fast and elusive, most football fans never expected him to comment on matters which he has no political credibility whatsoever. Just this afternoon while current NBA player Jason Collins has publicly come out as gay, Mike Wallace decided to comment further on the matter on Twitter.
Said Wallace: “All these beautiful women in the world and guys wanna mess with other guys SMH (shakin' my head) …”
Moments later, twitter was a flurry and most fans of the NFL as well as Dolphins fans jumped all over the message and questioned the timing and the nature of the message. Did Wallace tweet something he should have kept to himself and was the message one that is filled with hate? With the NFL trying to brace itself for the inevitability of several players coming out in the coming years, such talk is mainly frowned upon.
To his credit, Wallace quickly realized he made an error in judgment, deleted the tweet, and then re-issued this statement via Twitter:
Said Wallace: “Never said anything was right or wrong I just said I don't understand!! Deeply sorry for anyone that I offended."
First of all, Wallace, according to most fans and writers, was in the wrong and should have never made any kind of admission on twitter as a public figure. It is possible that Wallace might feel this way toward people with an alternative lifestyle, but it is a bit unfair to paint Wallace with the brush of hate toward another human being without knowing all the facts. Based on his image, he seems like a guy that cares about his family, takes the time to be a good father, and cares about his career as an NFL player.
We don’t know any more about Wallace other than he cares deeply for his own encarcerated brother and makes sure his prison account always has money in it. However, most people will not support exactly what Wallace said because it comes from a place of ignorance.
While Wallace´s initial statement speaks volumes negatively to some football fans, there are in fact Dolphins fans who are season ticket holders, support gay rights, gay, might be the most offended. Even the smallest error in judgment can be detrimental to Wallace’s standing as a public and community representative of the Miami Dolphins franchise.
As a franchise, this error in judgment could hurt the Dolphins in ticket sales if people feel that the team itself does not support who they are as human beings. This idea is not as far-fetched as it sounds considering this happened last year when then manager Ozzie Guillen pledged his admiration for much hated dictator Fidel Castro of Cuba and much of the Cuban community in Miami was up in arms and boycotted games.
Following the tweet of apology from Wallace, the Miami Dolphins had this to say:
“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.”
Based on the tone of the Dolphins statement, one can tell that this matter will be or has been dealt with. Whether it means a trip to head coach Joe Philbin´s principal´s office, the matter will be dealt with professionally and should carry consequence for actions. We will probably never know what will be said to Wallace because it will be done privately, but one can surmise that Wallace’s tweeting might come to a halt. In addition, it's surprising that the statement is not only directed to Wallace alone, but all players on the team about this idea of "inclusion." In addition, community outreach might be mandatory for Wallace to learn more about LGBT youth and what they go through on a daily basis.
There is no winner here and no touchdowns can get scored when it comes to appreciation of all people and inclusion, but hopefully Mike Wallace learns that the microscope has a wider lens than ever before.