This has happened time and time again to many football players in the past few years. Someone in the media will get their hands on a particular ‘spin’ of a story that generally will not be validated, and to drum up hits for their website, will run with the story as is. Once fans read the story, the tweets start and the Facebook updates start. A story can go viral and get across the nation and around the world in a matter of minutes via social networking. If a story is falsified, but has already surfaced on the social media market, it could instantly tarnish a player’s reputation and take a substantial amount of time to repair.
Another social media happening that presents itself against players are the players themselves on social media networks. Some players simply do not seem to think before they tweet or update their status on a Facebook account. They will post about being disgruntled with their coach or their franchise in general. They can post about a matter in which they should not be commenting on (i.e. Drew Brees’ comments about comparing the search for evidence in ‘Bountygate’ to the search for WMD’s). It almost seems that at the rookie symposium, there should be a class taught about social network sites and how players should conduct themselves. It is one thing to stay out of trouble off the field; it is another thing to stay out of trouble on the internet. Both of these things seem to go hand in hand.
Not everything is wrong with social media being accessible to professional athletes though. It is fun for a fan to be able to get a slight glimpse into the personal life of one of their favorite players. A fan can read about and see pictures of the athlete’s training regimen, personal life, family, etc. It is nice for fans to be able to feel closer to the athletes that they idolize.
As long as things can be kept in perspective by the media over social networking sites, and players can keep a level head on the things that they want to say over these sites, then social networking is a great thing for football and football fans alike. There will always be certain situations in which something is falsified or a football player will get slightly out of line on one of these websites, but for the most part, social media seems to have had a positive impact on the sport of football.
Let us at Stripe Hype know your thoughts about the effects of social media on the National Football League and its players and fans by posting in the comments section below or messaging us on Twitter.