I’m not sure exactly why sports figures have such a hard time using Twitter, but today marks another massive fine for a sports figure who went off the deep end on Twitter.
Newcastle United defender Jose Enrique has been fined £100,000 for taking to Twitter to blast the football club’s transfer policy.
According to the Sun, Enrique directed his angry tweets to the owner of the Newcastle club, Mike Ashley. Not smart.
In the immediate aftermath of the emotional Twitter blast, the club’s boss, Alan Pardew, gave Enrique a slap on the wrist and wanted to drop the issue. However, owner Ashley wasn’t satisfied with just a warning, and ordered Enrique’s salary to be suspended for 2 weeks. And at £50,000 a week, that’s a £100,000 fine.
The tweets themselves were a result of Enrique’s frustration at the club’s higher-ups, who haven’t yet offered him what he considered a good deal for him to stay on with the team past his current contract, which expires in a year.
Still, regardless of how frustrated he may have been, rather than vent to his teammates, friends, or family, Enrique thought it would be a good idea to tweet to the world. And he isn’t alone in the sports industry.
Perhaps the largest sports Twitter drama this year was the super-injunction scandal, which saw footballer Ryan Griggs attempt to sue everyone who had retweeted confidential information about an alleged extramarital affair. There have been dozens of other sports-related Twitter scuffles too, including the AP and one of its sports reporters being sued over a tweet, the London 2012 Olympics Committee threatening to ban athletes for misusing Twitter, and the recent banning of a football fan from the grounds because of his racist tweets.
I’m not sure what it is about Twitter that seems to invite sports figures, athletes and fans to over-share, but there’s clearly a phenomenon here that we aren’t seeing in many other industries.