The NBA wants to send your Twitter beef right back to the kitchen.
The league sent a memo to all 30 teams this week with regard to conduct on social media, emphasizing that “mocking and/or ridiculing” opponents and officials on team social media accounts is prohibited.
“While we understand that the use of social media by teams, including during games, is an important part of our business, the inappropriate use of social media can damage the reputation of the NBA, its teams and its players,” the memo read, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “Recently, social media postings (e.g., on Twitter) by some teams have crossed the line between appropriate and inappropriate. In addition to other concerns, such conduct by teams can result in ‘Twitter wars’ between players that can cause further reputational damage and subject players to discipline by the League.
“As a result, we want teams to be aware of the NBA’s rules with respect to the use of social media by teams,” the memo continued. “As with in-game entertainment, teams are prohibited from mocking and/or ridiculing opponents (including teams, players, team personnel (including owners) and opponents’ home cities) and game officials on social media in any form, including through statements, pictures or videos.”
The memo was issued in the aftermath of this comical Twitter feud between a pair of Western Conference adversaries last month.
NBA team Twitter accounts have definitely provided us with some entertaining antagonism over the years, but those days appear to be over now that the league is forcing everybody into the sunlight and out of the shade.
Professional athletes with social media accounts are no strangers to hecklers, who take any opportunity to deliver jabs, often without receiving a response. On Thursday, Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall engaged with a Twitter user who had a less than pleasant remark about Marshall’s mother.
And so it began.
Marshall, then, increased the stakes to $10,000 if he lost with Kalla performing 100 hours of community service at an orphanage if Marshall is victorious. Kalla responded with $25,000, to which Marshall agreed.
After a little back and forth, Kalla eventually accepted the challenge and promptly directed us to his agent for further details. Like his client, Kallas’ agent continued firing at Marshall and also revealed Kallas is no stranger to stepping in the ring.
Well, this escalated rather quickly.
The chances of this “fight” happening are slim-to-none so it’s not worth checking for during the offseason. However, it did provide us with some entertainment from two guys who didn’t back down when presented with challenges, which is rarely a bad thing.
NFL scouts are mostly focused on size, speed and strength when evaluating players at the NFL Combine. However, we know a player’s “intangibles” and personal background can be just as important. Apparently Twitter also plays a role.
Last week, Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman told USA Today Sports that “immaturity” has been a problem for some of the record 98 underclassmen that declared for the NFL Draft early this year. More specifically, Spielman has been shocked by some of the stuff he has seen on Twitter.
“There were guys I found on Twitter this year that I can’t believe they would post and re-Tweet some of the stuff they were saying,” Spielman said. “We wrote a report just on their Twitter accounts.
“I won’t say the names. But out of the 60 that we did, there are eight guys that we have concerns about their Twitter feeds that we will address here.”
If I was an NFL prospect and heard those comments, I’d be off Twitter until at least after I found a home in the NFL. Spielman was asked to elaborate.
“Immaturity: Why would you Tweet that?” he asked. “Some things specifically on there, ‘Hey, I’m going out and partying with the guys tonight.’ Or admitting that they just took a drug. It’s amazing what you can find on social media. And that they don’t realize what they just put out there.”
Pittsburgh Steelers GM Kevin Colbert agreed with Spielman, noting that the 2014 draft class is probably the most “immature group” he has ever seen in addition to being the most talented. The fact that something a person tweets could cost them draft position or a job altogether amazes me. Is it really worth it?
H/T Pro Football Talk
Ben Tate was frustrated after the Houston Texans lost 28-23 at home to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, and he took some of his frustration out on fans over Twitter.
First he took a passive-aggressive shot at Texans fans for booing the team at home:
Then he responded to a cursing fan by challenging the person to call him those names to his face:
Former Atlanta Braves star Chipper Jones has been one of the more outspoken athletes on Twitter over the past year or so, but we may have heard the last of him. On Wednesday morning, Jones announced that he is done tweeting.
The timing of the decision is interesting, as Jones was animated in calling out Bryce Harper during Tuesday night’s dust-up between the Braves and Washington Nationals. Chipper apparently thought that Harper admired his home run a bit too much in the third inning, which is why Atlanta pitcher Julio Teheran hit him in the fifth.
Some of the “trolls” Jones is referring to may have come at him after that tweet. In the past, Chipper has encouraged followers to boycott umpires and shared other controversial opinions. He even defended Rutgers coach Mike Rice after Rice was fired for chucking basketballs at his former players and swearing at them.
It will be interesting to see if Chipper sticks to his guns on this. He has sent some tweets in the past that are blatantly aimed at riling up his followers, so he had to have expected some “hate” coming back at him. In any event, he is not the first prominent sports figure to quit Twitter this year and probably won’t be the last.
Phil Jackson may no longer be coaching in the NBA, but the Zen Master has discovered a new way to send us his masterful vibes without holding press conferences — Twitter. Jackson officially joined the Twitterverse on Wednesday and had picked up close to 30,000 followers as of 5:00 p.m. EST, despite the fact that he has yet to send a tweet. He has, however, already given us this fantastic avatar:
It may not be as good as that avatar Chad Johnson had during his brief tenure with the Patriots, but it’s very appropriate. Since it’s probably difficult to squeeze 13 championship rings into one picture, Jackson just went with the 11 he won as a head coach. He left out the two he won as a player in 1970 and 1973.
I think I speak for everyone when I say I can’t wait to see what the legend brings to the Twitter world. I feel hypnotized already.
Johnny Manziel says he is taking a break from Twitter.
The Texas A&M star quarterback has been overwhelmed with the attention he’s received and decided that leaving Twitter is the proper course of action for now.
“I’ve kind of just shut it all off,” Manziel told ESPN’s Mark Schlabach. “With how the media has been with me for a while, I just shut everything off. As of [Monday], I said I was done with [Twitter] for however long. It’s fun to have, but it can get to be distracting at points.”
Manziel won the Heisman Trophy after his record-breaking redshirt freshman season for the Aggies. Pictures of him partying at a New York club emerged shortly after the ceremony, and he has steadily remained in the news ever since.
“I’m surprised to [see] how the attention has continued through the offseason. I guess I thought it would die off and slow down a little bit, but it really hasn’t,” he told Schlabach.
It’s been the exact opposite; the buzz surrounding Manziel has only grown this offseason. The first signs of Manziel’s personality emerged after pictures of him partying in a Scooby Doo costume on Halloween were publicized. He went on to beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa, win the Heisman Trophy, and destroy Oklahoma in a bowl game.
Manziel did the Top 10 on Letterman, played golf with the Jonas Brothers, sat courtside at NBA games, showed off money he won at a casino, and he continued rubbing elbows with various celebrities after winning the Heisman. He became so popular that he began taking online courses this semester to avoid all the attention he receives on campus.
Taking online courses seems to have allowed Manziel more time to party; he was spotted partying at Mardi Gras in February, and he was in Mexico last week for spring break. He caused a huge stir when he was seen with a fake tattoo of the Texas Longhorns logo on his torso. He admitted to ESPN that was done as a joke.
“It was just a fun deal,” Manziel said. “Somebody dared me to do it, and we thought it would be funny.”
If his goal was to freak out Aggies fans, then he certainly succeeded.
Manziel may be taking a break from Twitter, but that might not be enough to stop the events of his personal life from being shared online. As long as he keeps partying or hanging out with celebrities, there will be others sharing the news and photos on their Twitter or Instagram accounts. He needs to cut out the partying if he wants his life to become more private. I don’t think that will fit his style.
British boxer Curtis Woodhouse was the subject of some online abuse from a Twitter troll after losing a fight last Friday, and he wasn’t about to let it pass. He decided to take matters into his own hands by hunting down his main Twitter antagonist nearby the person’s home, which left the Twitter user apologetic and presumably frightened.
Woodhouse, 32, is a former professional soccer player who decided to pursue boxing professionally in 2006. He is 17-5 after losing a light welterweight fight to Shayne Singleton by split decision last Friday. Though many people sent him support on Twitter by saying he got robbed in the decision, at least one person criticized him for the loss.
A Twitter user who guys by the handle of @jimmyob88 and the nickname “the master” began attacking Woodhouse and calling him names:
Woodhouse retweeted some of the nasty messages that user sent him so that his entire following would see it. He even wrote back “lol” to “the master” in response, but his friendly tone quickly changed after the nastiness continued.
Some players just can’t help themselves. Social media has become an important part of our generation, and many of us would have trouble figuring out how to survive without it. That being said, there are times where interacting with your Twitter followers and Facebook friends is inappropriate. For Division-I athletes, halftime of a football game is one of those times.
According to USA TODAY, UMass cornerback D’Metrius Williams sent out a tweet during halftime of his team’s game against Bowling Green on Saturday.
“IM OUR HERE BALLIN,” the tweet reportedly read. “2nd half bouta get started time to get mo’ money.”
Naturally, the tweet has been deleted. Williams did a number of things wrong here. For starters, college football players don’t get paid to play. Or should we say they aren’t supposed to, and joking about it can cause quite the stir. Secondly, UMass was trailing 0-7 after the first half and has not won a game all season. They are one of only three teams in the FBS who have yet to record a win.
As we have learned from NBA players like this one, tweeting during a game is never a good idea. It’s an even worse idea to tweet at halftime when your team is having a horrible season. And it’s even dumber to tweet about getting money when you’re a collegiate athlete. Not the freshman’s brightest moment.
Lolo Jones figured she was just responding to another boastful athlete when she challenged Eric LeGrand to a race, but she was left embarrassed and remorseful after learning the former Rutgers football player is paralyzed.
LeGrand is a former defensive tackle who was paralyzed after suffering a spinal cord injury during a Rutgers-Army game on Oct. 16, 2010. LeGrand has been in a wheelchair since then, but he’s remained in the public eye because of his positive attitude and inspirational response to the injury.
LeGrand happened to tweet at Jones on Tuesday, challenging the Olympic hurdler to a race:
Jones likely saw from LeGrand’s Twitter profile that he bills himself as a defensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (his former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano signed him to a one-day contract with the team), and she began taunting him in response.
“Get Checked for a concussion,” she wrote back to LeGrand. “Clearly, u’ve been hit in the head… Cos u arnt beating a track athlete.”
Lolo then raised the stakes.