You can get in trouble tweeting 140 characters

Twitter: Friend or foe for the new age athlete

By Devon Teeple
GM's Perspective

Twitter is a great tool and gives fans unbridled access to professional athletes 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This form of communication, whether you like it or not, is great for athletes to show the fans who they really are. They are actual “people” outside of the lines, but with that comes immense responsibility that some athletes (IMO) don’t take seriously.

During this Outside The Lines interview you saw a panel that consisted of athletes, journalists, and business professionals, who are all using Twitter as a social media outlet, but all had different opinions on what was right, wrong, and had varying thoughts on accessibility and the message it provides.

Athletes need to be responsible when making comments. Just as Drew Rosenhaus said during the video, pretend you are conducting an interview after the game. Imagine that numerous reporters are hanging on every word. The people on the diamond, on the field, in the arena, or in the cage are role models to many and have to act as such when their words are spread so easily through the twitterverse.

Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand that we live in a free society and we want to know these superstars for who they really are, however, in theory, they are on a whole different playing field then us. Their message creates an immediate impact. I use Twitter and have roughly 900 followers, and I have to be very careful about what I write. And, my daily verbiage does not have nearly the same range as countless others. 

No matter what time we deliver our message, any wrong saying will directly affect anyone who has vouched for me, any media outlet I have worked for, and will negatively affect me at work if my comments are hurtful in an way. It’s about being responsible and understanding the magnitude of what your putting out there.  

Who would have ever thought that 140 characters could affect us so much?

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Devon Teeple

Danny was born in Ted Lindsay's hometown of Renfrew, Ont. but his roots are in nearby Douglas. He played 27 consecutive seasons of top-level amateur baseball in the senior ranks in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Quebec and thrived on organizing events himself, the major one being the highly successful 1983 Canadian senior men's tournament in Sudbury. He began covering the Montreal Expos in 1988 when he joined the Montreal Daily News. Later, he was the Expos beat writer for the Ottawa Sun and Associated Press. He has written four baseball books, including Remembering the Montreal Expos, which he co-authored with Bill Young of Hudson, Que. Gallagher and Young are currently working on a book about the ill-fated 1994 Expos squad. Gallagher can be reached here: dannogallagher@rogers.com