It would seem at some point athletes would learn not to go to Twitter when they are angry. Thankfully for sports fans, when emotions are running high, professionals don’t know where else to turn it seems. Here are the latest in what is a continuing and likely never-ending series collecting dumb sports tweets that lead to either embarrassment, fines, or a shutdown of the account. They do all share one thing in common: they elicit the question, “what were you thinking?”
1. It was only a matter of time before the hot-tempered and ever-effusive manager of the Chicago White Sox made news with his Twitter account. Known for being passionate and charismatic, among other things, Ozzie Guillen has never shied away from the cameras when he has something to say, and that something is usually critical and expletive-laden. After getting ejected from the White Sox game Tuesday Wednesday night against the New York Yankees, Guillen went to Twitter, but curiously, it was not filled with the usual rants and raves. “”This one is going to cost me a lot of money this is patetic [sic],” and “”Today a tough guy show up at yankee stadium,” he said, likely referring to the home plate umpire who tossed him out.”
The trouble comes not from what specifically was said, but the fact that he was on Twitter at all during the game. MLB has a rule that states social media messages must stop 30 minutes before a game, and not to be done during a game, whether or not you are ejected.
So he will likely be fined, but Guillen of course is not now nor will either be fazed and he will continue to delight fans with his words. “I’ve been through this for eight years, and I expect to see what they have to say. How much is the money? I will pay the money.”
2. Danny Gabbidon, the 31-year-old defender for West Ham United in the English Premier League, is in far more serious trouble. “U know what, f*** the lot of you,” he tweeted to his followers after a loss to Aston Villa in which fans were criticizing him. “U will never get another tweet from me again u just don’t get it do you. Bye bye.” Gabbidon did indeed shut down his account, but has since charged with bringing the game of soccer into disrepute by the FA. He is just the latest in a long line of soccer players who have committed similar missteps on Twitter, as it seems clearly footballers are the worst athletes in understanding the consequences of Twitter.
3. Turning to basketball, it was not an athlete’s tweet, but that of his wife, that caused a stir prior to a playoff game. Khloe Kardashian, wife of Lamar Odom, went to Twitter before the Los Angeles Lakers Game Three against New Orleans with the following: “My baby hurt himself today…Please pray for him and send him positive vibes for his game tonight! He needs the prayers and energy! RT.” The message moved quickly online with speculation that an important part of the Lakers team might be injured and out of the game. However, Odom played and was not hobbled by injury; it turns out the only thing hurt was his pride: “I just wanted some sympathy,” he said.
4. Rarely do hockey players make headlines tweeting (nor does hockey in general), but during the first round playoffs against the Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty made news with an errant tweet. In an attempt to be funny–something that almost always fails when you are an athlete–Pacioretty took a jab at Bruins forward Brad Marchand during a double-overtime contest. “This game is longer than marchands nose,” tweeted Pacioretty. The Canadien has been injured and was not playing, hence the permissible tweet; what should not be allowed though, clearly, is any effort by a professional athlete to make a joke, because these guys are not comedians, and like the Pacioretty case, an apologize almost always follows.
5. Lastly, an American professional tennis player that few people have heard of has made news for his Twitter rant. Donald Young, 21 years old, tweeted following a loss in the final of a USTA qualifying match:”[Expletive] USTA! Their full of [expletive]! They have [expletive] me for the last time!” After being chastised by people at the USTA, Young tried to repent, and has since shut down his account. “Basically, I want to just apologize for what I said and the way I said it,” Young said in an interview with The Associated Press. “It wasn’t the right way to say it, at all.” It’s the ‘basically’ that makes it poetry.