Should Footballers Use Twitter?
Rarely a week passes without a high-profile footballer hitting the headlines for his Twitter antics. Household names such as Ashley Cole, Ryan Babel, Rio Ferdinand and many, many more have all caused a stir for comments made on the popular social media site.
All the controversy sparks an interesting debate – should footballers use Twitter? Here Ben Creek, a journalist from Ladbrokes Sport, looks at both sides of the argument. Yes – Tweet away!
Like many other sportspeople who earn a lot of money, footballers are often accused of being out of touch with ordinary fans. Twitter has helped to reconnect players with fans of all ages and give everyone an interesting insight into what they get up to on daily basis, what they think of the burning issues within football and life in general and enabled us to find out more about the stars of the sport. Some players actually communicate with normal Twitter users as well, which goes a long way to breaking down the barriers between ourselves and these well-paid individuals.
Of course, not all of the communication from fans to players and visa-versa is always positive. In fact, the likes of Michael Owen have to deal with a lot of unsavoury abuse, but to his credit the former England star rises above it and adds real value for anybody who follows him. No – Tweet off!
The danger with a platform like Twitter is that a flippant comment made in the spur of the moment, like the recent furore that surrounded Ashley Cole, can snowball and reflect badly on the player in question.
Whether they like it or not, footballers are role models – and an England international like Cole using abusive language in a tweet that went viral sends out all the wrong messages.
Emotions run high in sport, both on and off the pitch. That’s why footballers and Twitter don’t mix. Instead, players should wait until they’ve hung up their boots like Gary Lineker before they start revealing all in 140 characters or less.
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