Social Media and its Impact on Sports
Social media has completely changed the recruiting landscape for college sports, athletes, coaches and recruiters, while also playing an important part in professional sports. Twitter wars and spats are commonplace between players or players and fans, which has created some interesting mini-controversies.
It has proven a boon for athletes to market themselves in addition to earning endorsements, as tweets add fuel to the fire if an athlete is in the limelight. And, it’s great for fans if athletes host Q&A’s and other similar open forums on Twitter.
Adrian Peterson’s post-game tweet, after getting pelted by ice balls from Ravens fans, says it all when athletes are frustrated:
My personal favorite is former Orioles pitcher and current Kansas City Royal Jeremy Guthrie. He once tweeted if anyone had some free time to play catch with him on an off-day when he was with the Colorado Rockies. A teenager ended up playing catch with a starting MLB pitcher! Here’s the video (via CNN.com):
Johnny Manziel is a great example of that. He got in a lot of controversy over his fun-filled offseason, where we was kicked out of a University of Texas-Austin frat party, left the Manning Passing Academy for being too tired (some alleged he was drunk and hung over), and was seen attending NBA games in expensive, courtside seats. Here was the tweet about him getting a parking ticket that got him a lot of criticism:
He took a break from Twitter and ended up having a better season than his Heisman campaign. He’s projected to be a mid-to-late first round NFL draft pick at best.
Social media has been a good and bad thing, depending on how fans and athletes treat it. If athletes have thick skin and can take the beating on Twitter, then go for it and use it for good! If they can’t, then don’t bother.
One time me and someone I follow talked bad about a former BYU basketball player Jonathan Tavernari and joked about his propensity to shoot ill-advised 3’s. Then he saw that, searched for his name on Twitter search and tweeted at us for criticizing him (and promptly deleted those tweets as far as I can tell). Thick skin, guys.