Monday, July 4, 2011

Athletes and Social Media

     Social Athletes

     This past week, Donovan McNabb brought up a hot-button topic that has really been buzzing in the world of sports as of late: Athletes on Social Networking sites. Most notably, Twitter. Time and time again, those that are in the public eye have been criticized for comments posted on the Internet,  most recently Congressman Weiner of New York. Because of the Lockout in the NFL, and now the NBA, athletes have too much time on their hands, and are adding to the problem.  Rashard Mendehall questioned whether Bin Laden was actually guilty of crimes against the US. LeSean Mccoy unnecessarly criticized Osi Umenyiora during a time the players are supposed to be banding together. Maurice Jones-Drew killed two birds with one stone by calling Urban Meyer a quitter, and indirectly doubting the toughness of Jay Cutler. 

     These are just a few of the people that have gotten too loose with their words, and tweeted about topics they have no business commenting on. As professional athletes, these men are expected to set a good example for the next generation, which are the same people that follow them on twitter. However, there is a difference between the fan's expectations, and the mind of the athlete. Fans expect their favorite players to be at their best at all times: on the field and off the field. Athletes, on the other hand, choose to speak their minds, just like every other person in the world. 

     The difference is, their opinion matters to a lot more people than that of the average person. For example, take Dwight Howard. He has more than 2,000,000 followers on twitter. When he tweets this, more than 2 million people immediately see it. Once they see it, it gets retweeted.. And retweeted... And retweeted even more, until eventually it ends up on the news, and tens of millions of people know about it. Something that was originally intented as a joke, now ends up being a nationwide media catastrophe. These types of occurrences are happening more and more often in the world of sports, and people like Donovan McNabb are trying to find a way to put a stop to it. His message to athletes: Delete your twitter.

 My question to the world: Is speaking your mind to the world worth jeopardizing your public image?

1 comment:

  1. This is an interesting topic. I don't really agree with Donovan McNabb saying "delete your twitter." I think for many athletes twitter has heightened their popularity, broadened their fanbase and attracted new sponsorship opportunities. What is said on twitter is really up to the players. As long as they understand that what they say will be broadcasted all over in a matter of minutes then it is all on them. Not all athletes commit such monumental screw ups, some really take advantage of the positives of twitter. Athletes must understand that the image they wish to portray means nothing if people don't see that image. So they have to be the people they want to be seen as.