USC Quarterback Matt Barkley is among the most thoughtful and fun follows on Twitter. Barkley represents the best of what Twitter has to offer in that he gives fans an accurate view of his daily life while also spicing in measured opinions about current events and a wide array of relevant subjects.
We were provided a different kind of window into Barkley’s personality this week when he weighed in on one of the most controversial subjects facing Americans today: gay marriage.
Wednesday Barkley retweeted a Yahoo News headline that read:
“Gov’t says it won’t defend constitutionality of law that bans recognition of same-sex marriage”
Barkley added “Smh..” which is an acronym for “shake my head.”
In other words, Barkley isn’t keen on the U.S. government officially recognizing same-sex marriage as a lawful and legal union.
After Barkley sent out his retweet he was immediately met with barrage of angry Tweets from a single Twitter user. The first in a series of Tweets directed at Barkley:
@MattBarkley “SMH”?? really? ur a homophobe? did not know this about you.. how disappointing to learn it.
The same Twitter user then directed a tweet to USC Coach Lane Kiffin about Barkley:
@Lane_Kiffin r u aware that ur QB is tweeting homophobia today? better get a handle on it before the media picks it up
As the individual Twitter user was completing a series of Tweets about Barkley, which also included a Tweet trying to alert the media, Barkley calmly directed this Tweet to the offended party:
look bro, I’m not discriminating and I’m not a homophobe. I’m standing up for what I believe. Cool down..
Regardless of your opinion of gay marriage, Barkley’s Twitter account is a case study of how an athlete should comport himself in the social networking world. The vast majority of reporting when it comes to athletes on Twitter and Facebook is negative so it’s refreshing to observe someone in that setting handling himself with aplomb well beyond his years.