US, European Teams Banned From Twitter During Golf's Ryder Cup (In Case They Get Into Trouble)

Report over at the BBC.

“Tweeting and social network sites can get one into trouble,” said Europe’s Captain Colin Montgomerie.

“The team has come to a consensus not to do it,” added US Captain Corey Pavin. “It can be a little bit distracting sometimes, and I think it is important to focus on the Ryder Cup and playing in the matches. We’ve decided to not tweet this week, but a week today I am sure tweeting will be all over the place.”

Nine Ryder Cup players are active on Twitter and will be silenced during the three-day event, including Stewart Cink, Ian Poulter, Rory McIlroy and Zach Johnson.

This seems like a bit of a non-story, and comes in the wake of various minor scandals that have occurred in other sports where Twitter has been involved, but I wonder if we’re seeing the beginning of a trend here. And if so, I suspect it’s one that’s likely to move beyond sport and into entertainment and even politics.

“We want to allow the public access to our players and make them interesting to the public – because a lot of the players are very interesting people,” England’s cricket coach Andy Flower recently stated about the team’s use of Twitter. “But it has to be done in the right way. If we are to give them that freedom they must act responsibly. If they cannot do so, we’ll be forced into restricting the way they use it – and we don’t want to do that.”

So he says, but Twitter embargos might well become the norm. And while you can absolutely see the potential risk involved in adopting a laissez-faire approach to social network use – certainly from a corporate perspective – there must be a point where civil liberties are being seriously breached.

Where does it end? It will be interesting to see if Messrs Montgomerie and Pavin ban their players from speaking to the press. And ask their wives and families to refrain from using Twitter during the Ryder Cup, too. After all, a reliable source is a reliable source – even if it’s delivered via somebody – or something - else.