An unfortunate incident happened this past Sunday for Team USA forward Draymond Green. In an attempt to send a “suggestive” picture to someone on his Snapchat, he unintentionally posted the pic to his story rather than sending it to the specific person. The picture remained on there for roughly ten minutes before Green removed it. The public reaction was as you would expect: media jumping on the story, fans making funny memes, and his teammates riffing on him as much as they could.
In the spirit of this event, I decided to delve into the history of social media amongst professional athletes to see if there were any situations as noteworthy as Draymond’s:
5. The time Lolo Jones vine’d her Team USA bobsled paycheck
In the spirit of the Olympics starting, why not profile a former Olympic athlete with our first entry. It isn’t hard to see why people were up in arms over this move by Lolo Jones. It is never in good taste to post your financial matters on social media, especially when you are a notable athlete, professional or otherwise. At the time, Jones was sponsored by McDonalds, Red Bull, and a few other less notable companies. Not all of the Team USA bobsled members were sponsored. She definitely intended this to be a joke and for people to take it light-heartedly, but she ended up coming off as whiny, ungrateful, and spoiled. That’s a real No-No, Lolo.
4. Rashad Mendenhall’s 9/11 insensitivity
Rashad Mendenhall picked the wrong time and the wrong place to display his thoughts on 9/11 and America’s general feelings about the entire thing. The former Superbowl champion was attacked left, right and centre for his comments. Some advice for Rashad: 1. Don’t tweet about 9/11, it just doesn’t help and people don’t need to hear it. 2. IF you’re going to tweet about 9/11 to your widely American follower base, don’t paint it in a negative light. 3. Do not talk about Osama Bin Laden as being misunderstood or not listened to.
Whether he meant to or not, Mendenhall came off as defending the acts of September 11th, alluding to Bin Laden as being somewhat of a misunderstood figure all the while deciding to do this on the anniversary of the tragedy.
3. Paraskevi Papachristou’s racist mosquito tweet
@papaxristoutj: (Translated) “With so many Africans in Greece, at least the mosquitoes from the West Nile will be having homemade food.”
There have been many ridiculous, amusing, and inappropriate tweets by athletes in the past, but this tweet might take the cake as being the worst decision among the lot. It isn’t hard to see why. In a weak and cringe-worthy attempt at a joke, Papachristou comes off as racist and insensitive to an entire continent of people. The Olympic committee seemed to agree. She was subsequently banned from the 2012 London Olympics because of this tweet. Let that be a lesson to you kids – when you are on the verge of competing in an Olympic Games, don’t tweet racist remarks about people you will be competing against.
2. Joshua Sale’s offensive strip-club comments
Joshua Sale has had quite a contentious career in the pros thus far, and that is putting it mildly. A career, which includes two separate 50-game suspensions, and another early dismissal for the season, Sale has had his struggles. It isn’t hard to see why judging by this comment he made following an unfortunate outing to a local strip club:
It’s no question or surprise that Sale has struggled to live up his 17th overall draft position. His suspension history and this comment tells the whole story. He never ended up making it to the big leagues, and Tampa Bay subsequently released him prior to the 2015 MLB season
1. D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young’s home movie collab
It was a widely reported on story this past fall. D’Angelo Russell recorded Nick Young confessing his infidelities on camera. At the time, Young was engaged to rapper Iggy Azalea. When the video was released it was huge amongst the sports world because: 1. It was involving the Los Angeles Lakers franchise, and 2. It was another example where social media and technology got an athlete in to trouble.
Russell became an outcast from the team. Many players deciding to alienate him and straight up ignore him when they found out. Many felt they couldn’t trust him anymore and even went as far as making him eat breakfast alone. Trust of teammates in sports is huge to the development of teams. Russell says that he had no idea how the video got released. There was word that it could have been a vengeful ex looking for some comeuppance. Even Nicki Minaj was rumoured to have been involved after Azalea made less than favourable comments about her to the media.
There have been many instances of unnecessary tweets, unfortunate vines, inappropriate Instagram pics and ridiculous Facebook posts. It might be time for the teams and organizations that employ these athletes to crack down and start heavily monitoring how social media is being used.
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