By Ryan Berenz (Twitter: @ChannelGuideRAB)
The Twitter social-media site gives people an immediate way to express their thoughts. But for some sports figures, it just exposes how thoughtless they can be.
I realized how twisted Twitter can be in the wrong hands when NFL players like the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Maurice Jones-Drew used it to pile on Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler during the NFC Championship. But sports stupidity is rampant on Twitter, and it’s not just players who are guilty. After dropping a touchdown pass, the Buffalo Bills’ Steve Johnson angrily tweeted at God. The Washington Redskins’ Robert Henson called Skins fans “dim wits” on Twitter. Sportswriter Buzz Bissinger went ballistic in a Twitter fight with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Washington Post sports columnist Mike Wise was suspended for tweeting a fake report just to see how many media outlets ran with it.
We’re in a new era when players don’t need a mic or a camera in their faces to express their thoughts, and this should scare teams and leagues concerned about controlling the message. Pro athletes can get fined for inappropriate tweets, but the consequences could be worse for college teams, where a student athlete can devastate a program with one tweet that exposes a recruiting violation.
For athletes, there’s much more risk than reward in putting their thoughts out there. But as long as we’re entertained, tweet on.
[Update: Add Rashard Mendenhall to the list.]