Jay Simpson, a former Champaign Central High School and Purdue basketball standout, writes for The News-Gazette. He can be reached at

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“It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”

It’s a phrase we hear time and time again. It might be a cliche, but it’s well-used for one very good reason: It’s true.

Sometimes, a person who doesn’t mean harm will come off as being disrespectful or rude based on their tone. I have to be more aware of this myself.

Just because I don’t mean harm doesn’t mean the

next person won’t take offense to it.

This is why I try my best to speak with a kind gesture to everyone, just to avoid confusion. I know how I would feel if someone came off as rude to me, so I want to avoid doing the same.

We have to be aware of how we speak to others because you never know what they’re going through or what triggers them.

A few weeks ago, I shared a post on social media that offended a whole community of people.

I didn’t mean any harm when I shared the post but I was not thinking about how it may make others feel. After a few people inboxed me expressing their feelings on the topic and the context I was using it in, I deleted it.

I deleted it because I understood where they were coming from and why they felt the way they did.

I made a mistake and I want to apologize publicly for it. It was something that shouldn’t have been said.

I apologize. It’s something that no one will have to worry about again.

Jay Simpson writes for The News-Gazette. His column appears Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. He can be reached at

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