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michael89156

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: July 18, 2013, 12:00:20 AM



Maybe more athletes should stay off Twitter

Tom Jones, Times Sports Columnist 
 
Tuesday, July 16, 2013 4:30am


 



Don't press send!
 
That's what former NFL head coach Herm Edwards says.
 
The coach-turned-ESPN-analyst speaks to incoming NFL rookies each year and talks about his dream of inventing a smart phone that would be smart enough to replace the "send'' button with a "don't press send'' button.
 
"So when you tweet all that stuff out and you get ready to send it out, it will say, oh, Don't Press Send,'' Edwards tells the rookies. "That's so you can think about what you're getting ready to press.''
 
Far too many athletes these days are pushing send before thinking about what they are saying.
 
If I ran a pro sports team, or even a college program, I would forbid my athletes from using Twitter. And this is just a guess, but you watch: In the not-so-distant future, practically every pro and college team in the country will prohibit its players from using the social media site.
 
It has become too dangerous and simply not worth the risk for teams to endure the public embarrassment of reprimanding then apologizing for players who can't help but have a brain cramp in fewer than 140 characters.
 
First of all, let's get one thing straight: As a sportswriter, I love that athletes use Twitter. It lets all of us know what they are thinking and doing, although I believe I would sleep just fine without the knowledge that Redskins backup quarterback Kirk Cousins thinks Home Alone is a great movie. (Yeah, he really did tweet that.)
 
I, especially, love that many who use Twitter don't have that edit chip between their brains and their fingers. I love that they press "send'' without thinking.
 
Most of the time, it's harmless stuff.
 
Like the time Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones tweeted:
 

Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL, we ain't come to play SCHOOL classes are POINTLESS
 

It's sad and maybe even a bit insightful to see the honest feelings of college athletes, as well as their total lack of grammar skills. But, ultimately, no harm is being done here.
 
Same as when Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel who, by the way, seems intent on becoming the Lindsay Lohan of college football tweeted:
 

(Expletive) like tonight is a reason why I can't wait to leave college station...whenever it may be.
 

Often times, Twitter is used to criticize someone or start a feud, such as when U.S. women's soccer goalie Hope Solo was all in a huff when former U.S. women's star Brandi Chastain criticized the Americans while calling a game for ESPN. Solo tweeted:
 

Its 2 bad we cant have commentators who better represents the team & knows more about the game

 
Occasionally, players will step over the line of good taste or common sense, like when Rashard Mendenhall, then with the Steelers, reacted to Americans celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden by tweeting:
 

[i]What kind of person celebrates death? It's amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We've only heard one side.[/i]

 
That was followed by:
 
We'll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style
 

Usually, within a few hours, these athletes have to send out some sort of apology that appears to have been written by someone with a college degree in public relations. It uses words like "thoughtless'' and "insensitive.'' It talks about having "regret'' then closes with the obligatory, although often insincere-sounding, "I apologize to anyone who might have been offended by my comments.''
 
In the past week, many athletes were swept up in the aftermath of George Zimmerman's acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The Giants' Victor Cruz tweeted:
 

Zimmerman doesn't last a year before the hood catches up with him
 
Falcons wide receiver Roddy White suggested the jurors in the case should "kill themselves.''
 
A short time later, White tweeted:

 
It's crazy how people on twitter want me to get in trouble for a tweet that they are retweeting because they want something to happen thanks
 

Eventually, Cruz and White apologized for their remarks, saying they were made hastily in reaction to being stunned by Zimmerman being found not guilty.
 
Fair enough.
 
Yet, virtually every ill-advised, apologetic or just plain dumb tweet typed out by an athlete is the result of a hastily slapped-together response to subjects that are probably best left alone. There are people who write for a living who don't make anything public until it is read by several editors, yet athletes will send out something without even reading it back themselves.
 
While it's certainly Cruz's right to talk about the Zimmerman trial and while Mendenhall is entitled to have an opinion on bin Laden, they shouldn't confuse freedom of speech with freedom from consequences. Sometimes it's just better to say nothing.
 
Or, in other words, you can never go wrong by following these three words:
 
Don't Press Send


TampaBucks05

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#1 : July 18, 2013, 12:03:22 AM

This would be the appropriate time to use the word 'nazi'.

The Anti-Java

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#2 : July 18, 2013, 02:33:23 AM

No way they can do that, the NFLPA would be all over that.    A better solution would be for the players to check themselves, and like Herm says, think before sending out some nonsense on Twitter.


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PewterReportMC....
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tatmanfish

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#3 : July 18, 2013, 03:16:57 AM

Prohibit...no. strongly encourage them not to use it...yes.

Its great marketing for their name, but often get themselves into trouble. Just stfu and talk about football or mundane details in life. No need to talk abxout anything political or overly religious.



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germcanbuc

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#4 : July 18, 2013, 04:41:54 AM

As an artist (I know its not the same, but it sort of is) who LOVES twitter, Id never be able to get on board with this if my label were to say I cant use twitter or have to hold back (thats even a provision in my new deal, that my twitter belongs to me and me alone, meaning that I have 100% control over what goes on it, if they dont like it, **CENSORED** EM). I understand how important image is, I fight with my label execs all the time about it. Hell I just got dropped from my previous label (and picked up on the spot by another......now my old label wants me back) for being "too defiant" as far as not buying in to the image they were trying to sell me as. I use twitter to vent. It helps me clear my head when Ive got waaaaay too many thoughts going on inside of it. Theres times where I just let loose and go on tears. I understand what Herm is saying, and get that the spotlight is on, but these athletes are still people. Sometimes things need to be said and thoughts need to get out. Censorship is one of my biggest pet peeves (along with double standards). 90% of my tweets get thought through 2-3 times over. I re-read them a couple times before hitting send, but sometimes it doesnt happen. I catch flak over what I tweet, as do the players over some things that get said, but if you ask me, people are too sensitive nowadays. I always say offensive is all just a matter of perspective. Im not easily offended, so I say what I feel and think, and if it bugs somebody, I really dont care coz Im really just being honest (and when it comes to twitter, Im too honest), but thats me.....Just my late night rant/.02. And I agree with AJ, the NFLPA would be all over that.

Check out www.reverbnation.com/nickfreddy and follow me on twitter @nick_freddy

Boid Fink

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#5 : July 18, 2013, 06:23:08 AM

All chefs hate servers.

Ba ha ha ha!  Tweet that! 


BucfanNC12

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#6 : July 18, 2013, 07:50:03 AM

No and it shouldn't be a discussion.

Dolorous Jason

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#7 : July 18, 2013, 08:16:10 AM

McCoy would retire if you banned him from Twitter....

What is your point? I was wrong? Ok. You win. I was wrong.

           

captainjimbo

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#8 : July 18, 2013, 10:44:47 AM

WHAT?????  One of the dumbest things I've seen here.  I think a better idea would be to stop writing or posting these dumb articles.

rpc1978

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#9 : July 18, 2013, 01:58:23 PM

SHOULD they prohibit it?  Yes!! and the examples shown above don't even scratch the surface of dumb/embarassing stuff that athletes have recently tweeted.  but CAN they prohibit it?  Not sure the NFLPA would allow it.  Seems like many of these guys have there own marketing people, endorsements, etc and the NFLPA wouldn't want to step on the players brands.  But college coaches have their own little kingdoms in these college towns.  I'm surprised someone like Saban even allows social media for players. Didn't Fluker just recently admit to taking money while at Bama then later claimed his account was hacked? I remember Brandon Flowers while at VT showing pics of drugs and money on his account.  FSU had a player (Tyler Hunter)last year post about a cop pulling him over and said something to the affect of "this is why people want to k**l cops."  For many of these guys social media does more harm than good.

Boid Fink

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#10 : July 18, 2013, 02:04:51 PM

I love the drama. It is a mans soap opera.


youngone

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#11 : July 18, 2013, 02:08:55 PM

That Ohio State QB sounds like a real winner.. Must be Urban Meyer guy.

What an idiot.

The Anti-Java

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#12 : July 18, 2013, 08:00:28 PM

Prohibit...no. strongly encourage them not to use it...yes.

Its great marketing for their name, but often get themselves into trouble. Just stfu and talk about football or mundane details in life. No need to talk abxout anything political or overly religious.


Always dangerous waters to paddle into.


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freddy

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#13 : July 18, 2013, 08:18:49 PM

These guys are adults who get paid a lot of money.  If they screw it up, thats their problem. Can't pamper every aspect of their lives.

gone

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#14 : July 18, 2013, 08:23:47 PM

I think the first amendment might be a bit of an obstacle there (though I hear Obama's working on that).  But I like  them using twitter. Lets people see who they really are, much like Hollywood celebs who tweet their stupidity.
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