Major League Baseball Appears to Have a Player Twitter Problem
Teenagers are dumb and so is Social Media.....
Yeah, I said it. Social Media can be an awful horrible place where people put thoughts, ideas, images and impressions on a webpage where it lives forever on the internet.
Social Media posts---even if they're later deleted, never go away. Especially for anyone with even a modicum of fame.
Over the past week or so, we've been seeing more and more reports of people's post---in this case on Twitter---coming back to haunt them years later.
It started during the All-Star Weekend when some racist and homophobic Tweets by Milwaukee Brewers reliever Josh Hader were resurfaced. It got worse the past few days as Tweets by Atlanta Braves pitcher Sean Newcomb and Washington Nationals SS Trea Turner were unearthed.
The whole thing is creating a big time image problem for the already image impaired Major League Baseball.
How do you address something posted on Social Media 5-10 years ago which should never have been there by someone in their teens who clearly had no idea what the implications of said posts might be?
Without getting into details of said posts---clearly they are thoughts and ideas that should never be put out in a public forum, yet they were. You could make an argument they are the idiotic ramblings of a teenager who didn't have any idea the implications of what they were posting. You wouldn't be wrong.
But in today's current hypersensitive politically motivated environment, how can or should you excuse such things? The simple answer is no. You can't ignore what was done. Whether or not the thought speaks for the true feelings of anyone who said them is a much, much more complicated answer and not one that me, you or anyone else should be trying to judge.
Major League Baseball hasn't at the time I write this decided what to do or say about Newcomb or Turner's posts. Hader was ordered to take part in sensitivity training and participate in MLB's diversity and inclusion initiatives. He was not suspended.
The whole thing brings to the surface something Professional Sports seems ill equipped to handle: How do you check someone's Social Media past?
There are some College Sports programs who actually have coaches or at least a staff member who monitors Social Media in case someone posts something they shouldn't. But it also magnifies what is a growing problem in today's social media filled society.
Younger kids are growing up not understanding the implications of what they post. They put their entire lives, thoughts, frustrations and complaints online with barely a second thought. They don't understand the impression that gives to others nor do the realize other people interpret things differently then they do and a complaint, crazy or stupid statement, a "Meme" or photo could easily be taken the wrong way or give someone the wrong idea.
Social Media is an outlet for a generation of Passive/Aggressive young people---older, insecure ones too and I say this as someone who has ZERO psychological training. Like everyone else, I have friends and family on my Social Media accounts and many of them put every aspect of their lives out there. It's their choice and I don't begrudge them for doing it.
But many of them don't understand when someone makes a joke or interprets what they are doing in a different way then the post may have been intended. Or that if you complain about something going on currently in your life or someone else's life, it could easily be taken out of context. Plus, there is nobody on Social Media who is going to fix your issue or address your complaint. Nobody.
I'm very careful about what I post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. I put some thought into how someone may interpret it. Unlike many, I try to steer clear of Politics which often is the crux of Social Media arguments. My opinions about some things are my opinions which I might share with you if we talk---but I'm not going to post them for the world to see.
It might come as a shock to some of you that there are people who will comb through a high-profile persons Social Media account looking for something to attack them with. But its time you realize it is NOW the world we currently live in. The internet and Social Media has some evil, dark and desperate for attention people who take great joy in taking down others through the anonymity of a computer keyboard.
Which is why I can't tell you ENOUGH times to THINK about it before you Tweet, before you Facebook or Instagram....you never know when the post can come back to haunt you.
Circling back to Newcomb and Turner. Both will likely end up taking the route of Hader. They will and should disavow things they posted as a High School kid too stupid to have the world view and knowledge of what they said. No, I'm not excusing it. None of their Tweets should be espoused by anyone.
Hopefully the biggest result of it will be to be to get Millennials and others who post without thought to at least think about the implications of what they're about to do....
But I doubt it....