It never ceases to amaze me how many people (mainly professional athletes and celebrities), communicate on social media platforms so carelessly. I think it’s great that many of these folks are using these channels to connect with their fans and provide glimpses into their professional lives. However do these folks not realize the power of their words when they reach so many?
Take the latest case. Antonio Cromartie of the New York Jets tweets when learned of landing Tim Tebow:
Y bring Tebow in when we need to bring in more Weapons for @Mark_Sanchez let’s build the team around him. We already signed to 3 year [extension].
Now, I have no problem with what he wrote. The guy spoke his opinion about the matter, and did it relatively mildly. It’s the fact that he had to “clarify” his tweets. When you speak your opinion about something in such a public way, you better be able to handle the criticism. And that’s exactly what he got. Quite a few people found his comments to be “dissing” Tim Tebow, or implying that Tebow wasn’t a quality player. It doesn’t matter what Cromartie “meant” with his tweets, it’s how they were perceived. And that’s where most of these athletes and celebrities swing and miss.
Do they ever take a minute to think to themselves what the repercussions of sending out a tweet might have? Did the thought ever cross Cromartie’s mind that…hmmmm…maybe this might set off some bad PR for me and my team?? Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t care. But if that’s true, then stand by what you say and don’t feel like you have to have a press release put out clarifying what you meant followed up by boiler plate language about how great Tebow actually is for the team. Sure, the team probably forced his hand, but still, show some tact.
Have opinions. Be authentic. Utilize your freedom of speech. But don’t think that it doesn’t come without the right of others to be critical of what you say and the repercussions that may come with it. Bottom line…just think before you tweet. Might save you some headaches.