K.J. Lawson issues apology for vulgar video clip toward former coach Tubby Smith


After a vulgar Snapchat video circulated through social media Thursday, incoming Kansas transfer K.J. Lawson issued an apology through Twitter.

Lawson, a 6-foot-7 forward, made disparaging comments toward Memphis head coach Tubby Smith, his former coach, in a three-second clip. Lawson and his older brother, Dedric, announced their intention to transfer to play for the Jayhawks earlier this week.

“This is what we do when we leave Tubby,” Lawson said on the undated video, “(expletive) Tubby.”

Lawson expressed his dissatisfaction with his former school when he announced his intention to transfer earlier this month. Lawson quoted a song from Drake, which mentioned, “two middle fingers as I make an exit,” in a tweet that he later deleted.

“On behalf of my family and myself I would like to issue an apology to Coach Tubby Smith and Tiger Nation,” Lawson wrote Thursday night. “Despite my frustrations of this past year, my words and actions at the time were immature, thoughtless, and not becoming of who I am as a person or how my family raised me. Memphis will forever be my home and I wish Coach Tubby Smith and Tiger Nation the best moving forward.”

Lawson captioned his apologetic tweet: “This momentary (indiscretion) can jeopardize the most important thing in my life. I apologize for my inexcusable behavior.”

Lawson averaged 12.3 points and 8.1 rebounds for the Tigers this season in 33.7 minutes per game, earning American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year honors.

None by Keelon Lawson


Bryce Landon 4 years, 6 months ago

I think he meant "indiscretion".

As someone who has had some regrettable Facebook posts from time to time, Let me be the first to say, "Apology accepted." But let me also add, "Let's make sure this doesn't happen again."

Suzi Marshall 4 years, 6 months ago

It's one thing for you to "accept" his apology, it's another for Self to do the same. We are all anxiously awaiting Self's response. Frankly, I'm betting Self is giving this whole situation a hard second thought. If Self continues with the offer, this is one heck of a 'strike one." As we all know, a Self call of "strike two" lands a player on some kind of probation, at-least. 'Strike three" and he's gone.

Dale Rogers 4 years, 6 months ago

Whatever Self's take on it you can bet it's behind closed doors and he will say no more in public than he feels is absolutely necessary.

Dirk Medema 4 years, 6 months ago

I wondered if Self made a phone call that prompted the apology, though the family comment makes me think (hope?) a bit more that it was papa.

Harlan Hobbs 4 years, 6 months ago

Bill Self will make his decisions based upon his own interactions with the Lawsons, not on third party events. Of course, K.J. was tasteless in his initial comments, but let's face it, if 8 players are transferring from Memphis, and Tubby hasn't recruited even 1 top 100 player for next year, you have to wonder if time hasn't passed him by.

Tubby is clearly coaching beyond his prime, a situation which I doubt would ever happen to Coach Self.

Memphis goofed when they didn't stick with Josh Pastner. Memphis was spoiled by Calipari's success there, and they expected his replacement to be as effective, even though Pastner had only been an assistant to Lute Olsen at Arizona. On the other hand, Calipari had prior head coaching experience in both college and the NBA before he ever showed up at Memphis. It's a clear case of comparing "apples to oranges."

When you hire somebody based upon his name but don't consider the most recent track record, you run a big risk. Remember Charlie Weis?

Allison Steen 4 years, 6 months ago

I think this is being blown a little out of proportion. Before I had watched the video, the reaction made me think he went on a long and super offensive rant. I was actually afraid to watch it. Saying f tubby? Not smart, but not that big of a deal either. Self isn't pulling his scholarship because he made one dumb comment. He will get an earful from Self I'm sure, and I don't imagine it'll happen again under Selfs watch.

Andy Hess 4 years, 6 months ago

precisely, allison. i thought the same thing. ill-advised to be sure, but not really that big of a deal.

Martin Rosenblum 4 years, 6 months ago

KJ has surely addressed the video with the person who "leaked" it. It does make one wonder where he was when he said that and why a person that was in such proximity would feel it necessary to forward it on social media. Lesson here for everyone....there is always somebody near you that might not be your best friend. Big Bruh is everywhere!

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