Social media in the world of sports

by Josh Burkholder – “SportStance” Columnist
If you have ever played a competitive sport, especially football or basketball, you know that trash-talking is always present.  Recently, Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks and Darrelle Revis of the New York Jets were engaged in a form of trash-talking off the field: Twitter.  Revis is widely considered to be the NFL’s best cornerback, but Sherman, who plays the same position, is not among those people who crown Revis.  They went back and forth through tweets, talking about levels of experience, numbers, and just about anything to degrade or try to put the other player ‘in his place’.  Sherman even posted a picture of his and Revis’ stats side by side with the caption: “Women lie, men lie, numbers don’t lie.”

Darrell Revis and Richard Sherman duke it out on Twitter. Source: sportsworldreport.com

This feud has garnered national attention, and led me to think about the problems that social media ignites in the sports world.

I like Richard Sherman.  He plays for my favorite NFL team, the Seahawks.  In my opinion, though, he should not be going to Twitter to fight with another player.  If you have a problem with someone, I think that you should settle it with them personally and not broadcast it to the entire world.   It seems to me that all Sherman wants is attention, and will do anything to get that attention.  He is a great player, so I think that he should just let his actions on the field do the talking and not make his feuds with players public.  What image does this present?  Personally, I think that trash-talking someone on Twitter makes the talker seem disrespectful and very full of himself.

This problem is one of the many that the world of sports has encountered with Twitter.  Players are getting fined and suspended for things that they ‘accidentally’ post or for things that they explain were only meant for a specific friend.  Noah Syndergaard, a pitcher for the New York Mets, got into a world of trouble for tweeting a gay slur.  After the media uncovered it, he denied its significance, saying that he only meant it for one friend.  Well, if it is just for one friend, why don’t you send him a text or a personal message?  Do the athletes not realize that what they say gets read and analyzed by people all over the country?  Apparently, some don’t, or just do not care.  Running back Larry Johnson got into a Twitter feud with a fan that got personal, and it eventually led to Johnson losing his job with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Athletes need to be much more conscious of what they post on social media, because once they do, someone will have read it and they can never take it back.  I am not condemning Twitter or Facebook; I’m just saying that people need to be aware of the consequences of saying something out of line and realize that social media is not the place to engage in a feud.  If you have a problem with them, be respectful and have self-control, and settle your differences privately.

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