Athletes are infuriating creatures. For individuals who have been given every advantage in 21st Century society they enjoy all the perks of new technology but still stuff up. All the PR advisors, coaches, family and friends in the world can tell them until they’re blue in the face: “Think before you Tweet!” It’s too late to hit ‘delete’ hombre; the screenshot option casts that dumb comment in stone.
As fans we love nothing more than sports stars expressing their opinion, it generates headlines and creates debate to fill the time between matches. But lets get real here - the sports industry is serious business. Anything that is said or done by an employee of your company reflects on you as an organization. Big sponsorship dollars are at stake so it is no longer good enough to plead ignorance on this issue.
If someone from a local business or the softball team down the road said something racist, homophobic, sexiest or just plain stupid, you’d expect them to be called out for it. The Republican nominees tell us the “PC Police” censor’s free speech. What a load of rubbish. In fact, free speech has never been more prevalent, but don’t post ignorant commentary on Facebook, Twitter or anywhere else on the web and think you’ll get a free pass. It works both ways.
We want our athletes to stay connected to fans and a broad ban across the whole industry would be ludicrous. So let’s call out the 15 sports stars that need to have their phones and laptops confiscated, and social media accounts deleted for good. It’s time to go on a banning bonanza!
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15 Carmelo Anthony
On the surface Carmelo Anthony seems like a good fit to be the franchise player the Knicks need to recapture the glory days of the 1970s. A closer look at his web activity would suggest otherwise. He pleaded that his account was hacked when he sent a reply to a supposed hacker. “I got 5K for whoever see @ihatekatstacks and slap the s*** out her pigeon face a**. Real talk. U f***** with the right one now.” Melo is never short of a word, but that’s just downright wrong.
14 Saido Berahino
Young footballers are so impressionable and incredibly naïve. Unfortunately no one was there to advise the Under 23 England International who took to Twitter to voice his disgust at his employers West Bromwich Albion for not letting him go to Tottenham Hotspur during this summers transfer window. He slammed the chairman Jeremy Pace, saying, “Sad how I can’t say exactly how the club has treated me but I can officially say I will never play Jeremy Peace.” Berahino deleted the tweet and tried to make everyone forget about the whole thing, scoring twice in the Baggies last two Premier League games.
13 Cardale Jones
Something tells us the Ohio State quarterback didn’t see eye to eye with coach Urban Meyer. Jones was benched for J.T. Barrett during the Buckeye’s 20-13 win over Northern Illinois, so instead of sucking up the news and supporting his teammates he thought he’d change his Twitter bio to reflect his new position. Under his handle he described himself as “3rd String QB.” He came out to refute any change after some backlash, “Stop tweet watching. Bio been the same for days.” A quick research on Jones told otherwise. 3 years ago he voiced his displeasure at having to be educated “Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL, we ain’t come to play SCHOOL classes are POINTLESS.” Well Cardale besides learning appropriate grammar, you could be taught something about social media etiquette.
12 Johnny Manziel
Before Donald Trump was announcing Lindsey Graham’s phone number to the world, Browns QB Johnny Manziel broadcast his cell on Twitter by mistake. The enigmatic young athlete has a habit of putting himself in the middle of controversy, even when he doesn’t necessarily ask for it. Unable to grasp the concept of a Direct Message (DM), Manziel hit the send button before disconnecting the number no less than 15 minutes later. If you don’t know the basics of the application then we would advise Johnny to sit the next few plays out.
11 Ryan Babel
Where should we begin with Ryan Babel? The Dutch Liverpool reject shocked the soccer world when he took aim at a tweet sent to him by a female follower. “I think u should concentrate on growing some tits instead of speaking about football… Ur a girl.. Stay in ur lane..” How anyone could spurt such sexiest bile is beyond comprehension, but Babel had the nerve to double-down. “So once again.. I apologise to ALL girls and woman who think I mean different… I personally just don’t like to argue about football with a woman.. that’s all..” Nice one Ryan, we think the feeling is mutual.
10 Tyler Seguin
No one is denying that the film Full Metal Jacket isn’t riveting viewing, we just don’t recommend that you quote the movie without a lack of irony. In 2013 Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin tried to pin the old “my account was hacked,” routine but no one was buying it. Seguin thought it would be amusing to poke fun at the State he was living and employed in, using the line, “Only steers and queers in Texas, and I’m not a cow.” The player has a bit of a history with homophobic tweets before and we think it’s time he was properly wrapped over the knuckles for this.
9 Chris Johnson
The biggest gripe we have as fans is living in the knowledge these overpaid athletes live in a bubble separated from the rest of society. They don’t know what its like to struggle to pay the mortgage and keep the electricity on every month, its something that doesn’t ever enter their conscience. Chris Johnson’s outburst on Twitter in 2011 did nothing to dispel this theory, taking aim at Titans fans in the midst of a contract dispute with the NFL franchise. “Can these fake Titan fans STFY on my timeline I don’t have a regular job so don’t compare me to you and I can care less if uthink I’m greedy.” So c’mon guys get the memo – Chris Johnson wants you “regulars” to get back in your box and stop tweeting him. But feel free to call him greedy because apparently that doesn’t bother him.
8 Damian Lillard
The Trail Blazers point guard isn’t backward in coming forward on Twitter. In fact, he’s somewhat of an addict. Besides taking shots at followers off the court, he took the bizarre step of trolling LeBron James in 2011 when he was playing for the Miami Heat. He began with, “Ooooooooh that n**** @KingJames is a killa ooooooh smh lol,” before tweeting his excitement at his own handy work, “I just tweeted LeBron James lol. I dnt care if he says anything. I wouldn’t respond to me neither. I still tweeted LeBron haaa.” A couple of months later he used a more aggressive approach, “Please get yo ass out of “too cool” mode and takeover. PLEASE n****!!!” then dropped the bombshell. “@KingJames I may have been one of yo biggest fans. But THIS series u played like a straight pussy.” We’ll let you make your own conclusions on this fan boy behavior.
7 Charlie Villanueva
Anyone who knows the professional world of sports understands the dressing room is sacrosanct. What is said behind closed doors is a matter between the players and coaching staff, the rest is left for media speculation. During Charlie Villanueva’s spell at the Detroit Pistons, he spectacularly broke that protocol by tweeting at halftime in a 2009 match against the Boston Celtics! Charlie said, “In da locker room, snuck to post with my twit. We’re playing the Celtics, tie ball game at da half. Coach wants more toughness. I gotta step up.” If you’re going to tell the world what is going on in an NBA locker room at halftime, give us something better than that!
6 Reggie Bush
Chris Johnson’s contract talks gave him the “greedy” tag, but that was nothing compared to the anger felt by fans towards Reggie Bush, a man loving life in the NFL lockout period. The controversial 18-week lockout saga in 2011 was a stain on the reputation of the sport and Reggie Bush did not cover himself in glory. Earning millions of dollars to score touchdowns wasn’t enough for old Reggie, he needed a break from that stress and wanted to tell everyone how he was enjoying himself. “Everybody complaining about the lockout!” he said. “Shoot I’m making the most of it! Vacation, rest, relaxing, appearances here and there! I’m good.” We can’t let people with that lifestyle get away with such arrogance on social media, it’s not cool Reggie.
5 Mike Wallace
Traded to the Vikings in the off season, Mike Wallace tried his best to articulate his confusion at the concept of homosexuality in 2013. Leaving everyone who read the post speechless and bewildered, Wallace tweeted, “All these beautiful women in the world and guys wanna mess with other guys SMH…” No one would argue with the first half of that post, and Mike Wallace would know better than anyone playing in Miami how gorgeous the natives can be, but to voice to the public on your profile that you can’t comprehend the fact that gay men exist in the world is at best idiocy. Minnesota’s social media department might need to make regular checkups on Mike’s internet activity this season.
4 Rashard Mendenhall
Full disclosure, we know Rashard Mendenhall’s message had the best of intentions and comes from a good place, but the stupidity and ignorance of his commentary deserves a solid ban. When news emerged that the worlds most wanted man, Osama bin Laden, had been taken out by US military special forces, the former Arizona Cardinals running back tweeted, “What kind of person celebrates death? It’s amazing how people can HATE a man they have never heard speak. We’ve only heard one side….” The problem for Rashard is that Osama made of habit of telling his side of the story through multiple propaganda videos, like the time he took credit for the World Trade Center attack killing over 3,000 people.
3 Paraskevi Papachristou
The media has a tenancy to create a scandal and point the finger at public figures for the slightest of mishaps, then there are people like Greek Olympian Paraskevi Papachristou who have to be made an example of. In the middle of the 2012 Summer Olympics in Great Britain, she tried to see the lighter side of global poverty and starvation. Translated, the Twitter post read, “With so many Africans in Greece, at least the mosquitoes from the West Nile will be having homemade food.” Hear that pin drop? That was the sound of the shortest comedy career ever ending in disgrace. For the record Papachristou was immediately sent home from the games and hasn’t been seen since.
2 Richie Incognito
If you don’t get enjoyment from a man named “Incognito” revealing details of a private conversation to the world then we give up. The schoolyard bully turned NFL Miami Dolphins bully Richie Incognito was clearly in the middle of a squabble with teammate Jonathan Martin during the 2013 season. Rather than dealing with the issue man to man, he tweeted, “Fact: Jonathan Martin told me he thought about taking his own life in May 2013 b/c he wasn’t playing well. Told me he felt worthless.” The saga escalated a bit after then but what else can be said to come back from there? With friends like these…
1 Joey Barton
The word “controversial” was created for people like English soccer player Joey Barton. Combine his horrible attitude with Twitter and you have a cocktail for disaster. Jailbird Joey’s wrap sheet on the social media outlet varies from outbursts against former players to current players, public figures, officials and just members of the general public. He described Newcastle United legend Alan Sharer as “a p****k,” and that “I honestly despise him.” He told Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker an “odious little toad” and gave a serving to David Beckham over one of his underwear advertisements, “Do one, Becks. They cost about 1p to make in a sweat shop in the Third World, Is there no limit to what ‘Brand Beckham’ will endorse for a pound note?” Forgetting the fact Beckham is an UNICEF goodwill ambassador helping impoverished children in poorer communities during his spare time, Barton has called females “pigs” and “prostitutes” while slamming anyone or anything that doesn’t conform to his opinion. Stay classy Joey.
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