Post Classifieds

Social media hurts athletes future, lives

Off the record

By Mike Thomas, sports editor
On April 26, 2014

  • Sterling Albert Winery Sales Manager Richard Turner pours red wine during the Food and Wine Event in the Gymnasium on Sunday. Sam Attal / The Advocate

Social networks are going to be the death of professional careers one day. The way we have access to famous athletes now is not beneficial to them.
It's not fair that one tweet could ruin a person's hard work and dedication, just for saying how he or she feels at the time. It is not right for them to receive death threats on these social networks.
As a Twitter user, it's fun to tweet and say what's going through my mind, or to rant about something. I absolutely love sharing my thoughts and opinions. It's fun to share thoughts about gaming, sports and my life. As average people we don't think to watch what we say online, but it could hurt us in the long run.
Retired National Football League running back Rashard Mendenhall had an up and down pro football career. He went from being in the coach's doghouse to being one of the top five running backs in the league. After overcoming these odds, he became the poster boy of what a professional should not say on Twitter.
On May 3, 2011, the day after al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden's assassination, Mendenhall spoke his mind on Twitter saying most people tweeting about this topic don't even know what took place on 9/11. Even though he spoke the truth, it painted an image that he supported what Bin Laden did, even though he was just against the terrorist being killed by U.S. forces.
That image is still stuck in the public's mind today. This is not the only controversial thing he has tweeted. He responded to Minnesota Vikings' running back Adrian Peterson's tweet about the NFL lockout by comparing playing in the league to slavery. Some people read it the wrong way and automatically thought that Mendenhall was a racist.
All of this led to his early retirement at 26 this offseason. I was shocked as a fan of his to see him retire so early. There are many other professional athletes who have found themselves in trouble because of their tweets, but athletes have also received death threats on Twitter.
In 2011, the San Francisco 49ers shocked the world by winning the NFC West and going deep into the playoffs that year.
The 49ers hosted the New York Giants in the NFC Championship game and with the game tied 17-17 in overtime, Niner wide receiver Kyle Williams fumbled a punt to put the Giants in field goal range to win the game. After the game he received death threats on Twitter. The threats got so bad he had to deactivate his Twitter account.
Sports fans today are getting out of hand. Now that we have the power to give athletes a piece of our mind when they mess up in a game, people need to realize they are only human.
At the end of the day, sports are just games that don't really matter.
They are simple fun.
And social network posts are all fun and games until you're in a job interview, and a potential employer is checking your feed. 

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