Dwight Howard becomes the latest professional athlete to be outed via social media.
It’s been less than 24 hours since the news broke of Dwight Howard’s alleged tryst with cisgender entrepreneur Mason Elije. And in less than 24 hours Howard, who has yet to come forward to address the accusations, has become a walking homophobic punch line.
As the story goes, Dwight Howard and Mason Elije first met on the set of Wild N’ Out. The two connected shortly after, thanks in large part to Howard who made a nose dive into Elije’s DM’s; the private back and forth included a series of Drake-like emotional exchanges, nudes, and nightly Instagram video sessions.
Things went left when Elije confronted Howard for allegedly sleeping with other people, ultimately bringing their secret relationship to an end. It was then reported that Dwight Howard and his team offered Elije hush money (probably to avoid this very public scandal that I and every other media writer is covering today), as well as requested that he sign an NDA, which Elije aptly refused.
Things seemed to go from bad to worse for Elije who claims he started receiving threats from Howard, as well as a member of his personal team named “Calvin”.
“I want you guys to know, I have already contacted police but if anything shall happen to ME, this is the truth, here is my proof and I don’t want you guys to ever stop fighting for ME and what is right! Dwight Howard is heartless and has the power to stop all this, but he WONT!.”
– Masin Elije, (post via Twitter)
Elije posted the above statement last night after the threats continued, along with a series of other posts that included screenshots, as well as audio recordings, of private conversations between he and Howard.
The jury is still out on whether or not this story carries any weight, however my hope is that if true, this story sparks the conversation it so rightfully deserves.
Current headlines seem to focus more so on the sexuality of the two men involved rather than the core issue- verbal abuse and threats of violence. To think that we as a society would rather sensationalize something as commonplace in 2018 as someone’s sexuality makes it clear that we are all still a bit out of touch.
We’re looking at a story that if true highlights two major issues that are prevalent within the gay community; violence and the feeling that one must hide their sexuality to receive acceptance.
We don’t need another viral meme. We need a resolution.