The mother of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron has apologized after criticizing Florida State star Jameis Winston with a tweet that many deemed to be racist.
After getting off to a slow start, Winston and his fellow Seminoles rallied to defeat the Auburn Tigers 34-31 in Monday night’s BCS Championship game. The 2014 Heisman Trophy winner passed for 237 yards and a pair of touchdowns during the win, and was named the game’s offensive MVP. After the game, Winston delivered an impassioned, if somewhat rambling, postgame interview—and drew the ire of McCarron’s mother, Dee Dee Bonner, in the process.
"I said guys, we didn't come here for no reason,” Winston said during the interview. “I said, 'Guys, this is ours, man.' All the adversity we went through the first few quarters, it was ours to take. And like I've been saying, we control our own destiny, And those men looked me in my eye and said 'We got this Jameis.' I said, 'Are you strong?' They said, ‘I'm strong if you strong.’ I said, 'We strong then.'"
While several prominent pro athletes expressed their approval of Winston’s interview, Bonner was not impressed. “Am I listening to English?” Bonner tweeted during the interview. McCarron’s mother, who openly rooted for Auburn to win the national title, came under fire from Twitter users who accused her of being a racist.
AJ McCarron’s girlfriend, Katherine Webb, also expressed her displeasure with Winston’s speech. She did not overtly tweet about the interview, but favorited a tweet in which a fan told Winston to “learn sign language to communicate because listening to him attempt to speak English is just insulting.” Business Insider’s Tony Manfred has a screenshot of that tweet, which can be viewed here.
Bonner quickly realized that she had made a mistake. She deleted the allegedly racist tweet and posted an apology. Despite the harsh reaction to her tweet, Bonner insisted that her comment was not motivated by racism.
“Any1 that knows our family knows we r far from racist. My tweet was not in anyway meant that way. I sincerely apologize if it offended any1 [sic]," she wrote. Twitter reactions to Bonner’s initial tweet and subsequent apology can be viewed here.
[h/t Larry Brown Sports]