When you think of the sheer vindictiveness of what happened to Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, it takes your breath away. On the very night of his greatest career triumph, a reporter dug up his old tweets (composed when he was a young teenager), reported on the most offensive insults, and immediately and irrevocably transformed his online legacy. Now he’s not just “Kyler Murray, gifted quarterback and humble Heisman winner,” but also the man who was forced to apologize for his alleged homophobia. And for what purpose? Which cause did the reporter advance? Where was the cultural gain in Murray’s pain?
And he’s but the latest victim of a malicious online world that seeks to destroy people in the moment of their triumph. It’s happened to athletes, to entertainers, and even to “regular” folks who enjoy the slightest bit of fame or acclaim in the public eye. It’s almost a joke at this point — when are we going to find out that this person who did this wonderful thing is actually terrible on Facebook or dreadful on Twitter?