A Winnipeg Blue Bombers player has finally received an apology for what he calls “hideous and offensive” actions from a TV show host.
Wendy Williams mimicked a person with a cleft lip on her show last week, and Bighill took to Twitter to speak out.
The Bombers linebacker and his son, Beau, were both born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate.
On Wednesday evening, Williams took to Twitter and apologized saying her show would donate to Operation Smile Canada and the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association.
Bighill told 680 CJOB he has accepted Williams’ apology, and calls the end of the controversy a ‘relief’ for him and others in the cleft community.
“It was a good relief. It was something so many people were looking forward to,” he said.
“In the entire cleft community, I think, there was a big sigh of relief. It was a great day, and her response was classy and great. I do appreciate it.
“I think everyone deserves second chances. I think everyone makes mistakes and should have the opportunity to apologize and make up for them that way,” he said. “I’m OK forgiving her.”
Bighill said he was blown away by the international reach of his story, and called it an example of an athlete using his social media platform to create a positive change.
Despite the outpouring of support, however, there were a few social media users who took the opportunity to criticize Bighill or double down on Williams’ offensive comments. It’s something the CFL all-star didn’t take to heart.
“You’re always going to have a few rotten apples in the bunch. Not all humans are good people, and some people don’t have the ability to see beyond themselves,” he said.
“It is what it is… they are who they’re going to be, but they’re a very small minority who feel this way. When you have half a million people feeling differently than a group of 10-20, you tend to feel you’re on the right side when you’re on the 500,000 scale and more.”
The timing of Williams’ apology couldn’t have been better, as Bighill’s son, Beau, underwent surgery on Wednesday – an operation the linebacker said was a success.
“Beau’s doing really well. He’s eating well, we’re feeding him out of a syringe to protect his lips from the surgery,” he said.
“It was always a concern to see how well he would take that, but he loves it, he’s doing really, really well.
“The feeding’s not an issue, so therefore keeping him from getting too cranky is going well as well. He’s sleeping good, so we’re all happy. We’re happy he’s sleeping good, he’s not in too much pain, and he’s eating well. It’s really, really good.”