Twitter is a great platform for all people to express their daily thoughts, especially for professional athletes. It gives them a chance to engage with the fans who root for them daily. A lot of professional athletes have recently made Twitter accounts. But the downside of being a famous athlete on Twitter is that you have to be cognizant of what you tweet out. Unfortunately, there have been athletes who have failed to do so. Former New York Jets coach and current ESPN analyst Herm Edwards has a famous quote he likes to abide athletes by when their on Twitter: “Think before you hit send.” When Herm says it, it’s express with a lot of enthusiasm. So Herm Edwards must know what he’s talking about when he says this, right? Well, it’s evident that a lot of athletes do not know or listen to the knowledgeable Herm Edwards because they continue to tweet out tweets that are quite questionable. This is hard to believe, but some athletes have sent tweets that have altered their career forever. And to think it was just a decision that only took a couple seconds to make.
Let’s take former University of Texas offensive lineman Buck Burnette, he said something on Facebook( not Twitter, but still social media) that had heads turning. When Barack Obama was elected president he said, ” all hunters gather up, we have a n-word in the white house.” I’m not sure what Mr. Burnette was thinking, but I’m sure he has enough common sense to know that wouldn’t go over well. When UT head coach Mack Brown heard this quote, Buck Burnette was immediately kicked off the team. Now Buck Burnette has plenty of time to go hunting. I’m not sure if Buck Burnette is a racist (it’s likely), but you still have to think before you send out something like that on social media. Keep all of that animosity inside, don’t use Twitter as a platform to release your anger. Even if you don’t like the president, don’t let all of the Twitter world know about it. Just keep it to yourself. Remember, you’re a public figure.
Let’s take Los Angeles Clipper forward Matt Barnes, his teammates were involved in a in-game scuffle this past week. Matt Barnes took up for his teammates by getting involved in the scuffle too. Barnes ended up being ejected, but that wouldn’t be the worst thing he would do that night. He would send out this tweet.
As soon as the NBA office saw that tweet, Matt Barnes would be fined $25,000 large. Is it really worth to send a tweet that will cost you $25,000? I understand Matt Barnes may of been upset, but you have to keep it in. Discuss it among your teammates, and don’t let the whole world see your anger at that moment. Barnes did apologize, but it is that tweet that will stick with him. Once again, “think before you hit send.”
You do have some athletes who use Twitter in a different way. Some players use it as a platform to connect with the fans. That’s good, but if you do communicate with a fan over Twitter, please do not get into a Twitter war with them. It will never end well. You’re the all-mighty athlete going up against the vulnerable fanatic. Well, Dwight Howard seems to not understand this (nor does he understand how to make a freethrow). CLICK here to view full Twitter war.
I’m not sure what Dwight Howard was thinking, but he had to of known that it wouldn’t make him look good, or did he? He wasn’t penalized for getting into the Twitter war with the fan, but it can affect an athletes image on how they’re perceived by the media and fans. It has definitely affected the way he is looked at – an immature athlete who doesn’t take his career serious. Dwight Howard is an athlete whose judgment has always been questioned, but he made it pretty evident that his judgment is not where it needs to be.
In my opinion, the one thing that is good about Twitter is also what is bad about it: It’s the convenience of it. It just happens to be there, and in the moment of frustration, you just want to release it all out. Twitter gives us the chance to do that. We want people to see what we’re thinking at that moment in time, and Twitter makes it way too convenient for other people to see what we’re are thinking in our minds. It’s even on our smart phones; all we have to do is log in, type under 140 characters and click send. I think a lot of athletes are not aware of that. If you’re a famous athlete, you can’t afford to lash out on Twitter, because you’re being seen in a different way. You’re a brand of an organization that is paying you millions to play a sport you are a good at. It’s essential that you conduct yourself in a certain form.
Twitter is a platform for us to engage amongst our followers. We want people to know what we’re doing, thinking, eating and feeling. But we have to do it in a certain way. If we fail to do so, then we’ll be looked at in a different way. Just like some of these athletes who didn’t think before they hit send.
CLICK to view six athletes who careers were ruined by what they posted on Facebook and Twitter.