Imagine not being able to say whatever you want on Twitter because one bad tweet will make headlines all over. That’s often the case for student athletes when it comes to social media, and it’s particularly true for Twitter.
In 2009, Texas Tech University linebacker Marlon Williams decided not to keep his comments to himself when he tweeted about his coach being late to a team meeting.
“Wondering why I’m still in this meeting room when the head coach can’t even be on time to his own meeting,” Williams tweeted.
Williams’ tweet and account were deleted soon after.
In 2011, then-Western Kentucky University and current Tennessee Titans running back Antonio Andrews had something to say to the fans of WKU.
“One thing I can say bout #UKfans is they loyal. No matter how sorry they team is they always support them. Can’t say that bout #WKUfans smh,” Andrews tweeted.
Andrews was sidelined the following game.
Finally in 2012, Ohio State’s very own quarterback, Cardale Jones, then a freshman, made headlines for his controversial tweet about his opinion on attending classes and playing football.
“Why should we have to go to class if we have came to play FOOTBALL, we ain’t come to play SCHOOL classes are pointless,” Jones tweeted.
Shortly after, Jones’ tweet and his Twitter account were deleted, but the tweet was already captured by many.
Student athletes become the face of their school whether they like it or not. They are obligated to represent their university in everything they do, including the tweets they create on Twitter. Any and everything they say will be judged by many.
“It’s tough knowing that everything you do is watched pretty closely because I’m doing the same stuff I’ve always done. It’s just now people actually care what I do,” former Texas A&M quarterback and current Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel said to USA Today in January of 2013.
Being a student athlete is not always easy. Yes, they might get the perks of having thousands of Twitter followers, but someone is always watching to make one simple tweet into headlines across the globe. Therefore, ask yourself, “Do I really wish to be Cardale Jones and have thousands of followers that watch my every move?” Some might say yes and some might say no, but I personally would rather stay as the average student whose tweets do not make headlines.