Former Mississippi Rebels guard Marshall Henderson, who has been no stranger to headlines during his time in Oxford, went too far again on Monday morning when he tweeted a reaction to seeing Michael Sam kiss his boyfriend after being drafted by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday afternoon.
Much has been made of ESPN’s coverage of the moment, with many of the comments being overwhelmingly positive and noting that it’s very similar to what you’d see from any other draft pick. Sam is homosexual, coming out after his final season at Missouri, but that doesn’t change what his reaction should be or how a television network should cover it. The man realized a dream and should celebrate it with his closest family, friends and significant other.
Henderson apparently didn’t agree. The tweet won’t be copied here because of offensive language that was used, but you can easily find it with a quick search. (Note: the tweet, and the comments responding to it, use language not suitable for children or most people with a brain).
Ironically, Henderson is a draft prospect himself who is eligible for the NBA Draft this June. Given the 44 underclassmen entering this year’s draft, many international players, and not to mention the other seniors, there was already little chance of him being drafted. Henderson is ranked 82nd by DraftExpress.com, and the draft only has 60 picks. Simple math tells you Henderson is probably doomed.
But his comments today, which are sure to be deleted at some point (and maybe followed by the common “Hey, I was hacked” defense), will seal Henderson’s fate not only in the NBA Draft, but his hopes of playing in the league altogether. Given the Donald Sterling controversy and the NBA’s swift response to that, the last thing the league needs is a team taking a chance on a guy like Henderson who apparently has his own issues to deal with.
Hopefully he does and emerges from this whole deal a better person. That gamble, however, isn’t something the NBA or any of its teams can take a chance on. Henderson was suspended twice while at Ole Miss, once for on-court behavior and once for issues off the court. While there’s no way he can be arrested for Monday’s comments, the reaction to them is sure to be swift, powerful, and will rightfully lead to Henderson kissing whatever chances he had of an NBA career goodbye.
And at this point, given Henderson’s history, there would be nothing at all unfair about that. His comments show a continued lack of self-discipline that makes it impossible to trust him at the professional level.