The newest craze is facebook and twitter... especially twitter.
Everybody is either doing one of the two, or both. Personally, I don't tweet. I don't even have a twitter page. But I do spend quite a bit of time on facebook, where I keep in touch with friends and family. I do all of the updating I need to do while I'm on facebook. Several friends and I send messages back and forth all of the time. Sometimes we give our opinions on athletes, teams and other issues.
But professional and collegieate athletes don't have the freedom that is shared by us regular folks. It really seems like most of the twitter mishaps are taking place when certain athletes choose to share their thoughts on twitter. LOL.
For instance: Packer linebacker Nick Barnett told fans to "Kiss My Ass" if they booed him after he celebrated tackling Cincinatti Bengals running back Cedric Benson in the backfield. The Packers ended up losing that game, and Barnett closed his page.
Texas Tech linbacker Marlon Williams tweeted, "I'm wondering why I'm still in this meeting room when the head coach can't even be on time to his own meeting."
Note: Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach then banned twitter for the whole team.
Kansas City Cheifs running back Larry Johnson was fined and suspended two weeks by the Cheifs earlier this week for making a few gay slurs or comments on his tweeter page recently. He's reportedly going to lose about $600,000 and two weeks of work.
Miami Heat second-year player Mike Beasley was also a victim on sharing a lil too much on twitter. In August, he posted a seemingly harmless photo of a his newest tat, "SupercoolBeas." The art stretched across the top half of his back. The controversy came when it appeared to be a couple baggies that many associated with weed in the background. Beasley later closed his twitter account.
Several athletes are doing well on twitter, though. NBA star Chris Paul has several innocent and funny conversations with friends on twitter each day. Shaq has over 2 millions followers. And, Terrell Owens told me that he enjoys tweeting when I talked with him after the Buffalo Bills beat the Carolina Panthers on Oct. 25.
It's all a matter of realizing that everything is public on the social sites, and all comments can be harmful if not worded correctly. One thing that is slowly being realized is that words can hurt. Maybe not everyone's feelings. But they can definitley hurt the pockets of some pro athletes if they don't watch what they say or write.
Quick... can you name three pro athletes that don't have twitter or facebook pages? LeBron James, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.