Feb 20, 2011

Athletes' Twitter

Ah the beauty of social media: bringing people together one social network at a time.

Of everyone I know who has a Twitter account, they primarily use it to follow celebrities. The reason behind following a celebrity? To actually feel like you are a part of their life. You went with Justin Bieber to the grocery store. You helped Kim Kardashian pick out her outfit for the day. You even congratulated Blake Griffin on that dunk he made in the game last night.

All we want is to feel like we personally know our celeb favorites because it just makes us feel oh so special.

As the social media world is constantly changing so are the “rules” for how celebrities can use them. However, for the sake of your eyes, we’re focusing on Professional Athletes and the rules that are placed on them for their Twitter account updates.

I read an interesting blog post on Mashable by sportscaster Len Berman that helped me gather a specific example of when an athlete has gotten in trouble in the name of Twitter.
In December of 2009, Brandon Jennings, a then-rookie on the Milwaukee Bucks NBA team posted a tweet that said “Back to 500. Yes!!! “500 means” where doing good. Way to Play Hard Guys” after beating Portland in overtime. The excited athlete got slapped with a $7,500 fine because of his tweet. The reason? Players are not allowed to tweet during games and 45 minutes before and after the game as well! This is because this helps the other forms of media, such as the TV or radio, get first dibs on the athletes’ first-take on their games.
Personally, I think the fine was way more for what the “damage” was worth. I mean $7,500 just for being excited over your team’s win in overtime? There are definitely worse things than that on Twitter. Professional athletes now have a “Twitter rule book” but it doesn’t stop just there. Now, even college athletes have rules about their Twitter postings.

I actually like the fact that there are rules to protect the athletes, their teams, and of course, their image. Without rules, there would be chaos, mass Twitter chaos. Social media provides an outlet for people to express their feelings and who they are, but it’s not always done in a positive way. With the amount of people having access to this, it’s almost as if people are waiting for someone to say something wrong so a Twitter storm can form! People seem to love talking about other peoples’ mistakes.

Hmmm….must be a new social trend?

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