Recruit Accuses Ole Miss of Racism, then Rescinds Accusation

Scott Halleran

This is our onus to bear, fair or otherwise.

Marlon Humphrey, a five-star defensive back prospect out of Hoover, Alabama, tweeted this earlier this evening:

This was after a tweet where he said something simple like "Ole Miss is racist lol." (I can't find it, so I presume it is deleted.) He then went on the complement the Rebels, saying that maybe he should take an official visit to the campus, comparing Robert Nkemdiche to Jadeveon Clowney, and admitting that he was just joking the whole time.

He then offered an apology to Ole Miss coaches, fans, students and alumni.

I'm still trying to decide how I feel about this, but really I have a hard time mustering up anything other than indifference and a weak chuckle.

Look, Marlon Humphrey is a kid. He's yet to begin his senior year of high school. He, like any 17-year-old, is bound to say and do things that he may end up regretting. It is unfortunate that he chose such a public medium via which to deliver his message, and for a couple of reasons. First, it's sad and annoying that both Rebel and rival fans alike took the opportunity to harass Humphrey over Twitter, either castigating him or congratulating him for saying what he said. Second, it's even more troubling that his patently ridiculous statements weren't immediately recognized as such by a college football obsessed public.

I mean, come the Hell on. Monthly Klan rallies? That's too ridiculous to even criticize, and Humphrey clearly knows it.

But really the whole situation is irritating because of the reactions it caused in people. A football hungry public took it as an opportunity to criticize Ole Miss, using Humphrey's blatantly absurd remarks as some sort of prima facie evidence against the school, her students, her alumni, and her fans. An overly sensitive Ole Miss fan base - of which I am undeniably apart - took such umbrage as to reply to Humphries and Rebel critics alike in some sort of reputation recovery effort, a bit of a daunting task in the face of such an accusation.

As for the accusation itself, while Humphrey was admittedly joking with his remarks, I do imagine that he's learned that accusing someone of racism in modern American society isn't exactly an accusation to make light-heartedly. It's something that immediately puts the accused on the defensive and is hard to interpret as anything other than maliciously insulting. And it is not exactly something that one can easily dismiss, because how does one exactly prove that he or she isn't a racist? "I know you are but what am I?" It is something which is inexplicably powerful, in that it can easily hurt someone and damage his or her reputation with little effort.

But, again, Humphrey's a kid. He might not understand this, or maybe he simply did not truly understand just how many people would see his remarks and react to them. I ain't even mad at him, and nor should any of you be. For as terrible an accusation it is to make about an institution, even in jest, it is debatably even worse for strangers to e-gang up on a guy for calling them racists on Twitter.

And, come on y'all, it's not like this guy isn't going to commit to Alabama anyway.

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