Hours after winning college football's most prestigious award, Oklahoma University quarterback Kyler Murray apologized on Sunday for using homophobic language in a series of tweets dating from 2011 and 2012.
The Twitter messages date to when Murray, now 21, was 14 or 15 years old. In the tweets, he used the word "queer" or "queers" to mock others. Many, although not all, of the offending tweets have since been deleted.
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He apologized in the early morning hours on Sunday.
"I used a poor choice of word that doesn't reflect who I am or what I believe. I did not intend to single out any individual or group," he said.
Murray was awarded the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night for leading fourth-ranked Oklahoma to a 12-1 record and a spot in the College Football Playoff. They will play top-ranked Alabama on December 29 in Miami.
Despite his talents as a quarterback, Murray's future may be in major league baseball. He was drafted ninth overall this year by the Oakland A's and is scheduled to report to spring training in February.
Murray joins a number of other sports figures and celebrities who have been criticized for past tweets that used inappropriate language. Twitter's website and search function makes it simple to search people's past posts for slurs and other inappropriate words.
On Friday, comedian Kevin Hart stepped down from hosting the Oscars after homophobic tweets he sent between 2009 and 2011 surfaced. He initially said he did not want to apologize because that would contribute to "feeding the internet trolls," but he later offered an apology to the LGBTQ community.