Over the past year or so, Twitter has emerged as a great way for athletes and celebrities to build a connection to and communicate with their fans. It’s easy, it’s free, it breaks down the middleman of the media - with all their pesky tough questions and biases - and it can be as much of a one-way or two-way street as one pleases. Even as a business tool, it can help athletes build brand awareness and loyalty amongst fans, helping at the negotiating table with potential sponsorship opportunities and perhaps even with contracts.
(Standard NFL punishment for Twitter infractions.)
Unless, of course, you do it wrong. The thing about Twitter is that everything you say on it goes out for the entire world to see, and stays there. And undoubtedly, such things tend to be found at the worst possible times - for the average Joe, that means when potential employers are doing due diligence or when an ex’s friend happens across something unflattering you drunkenly, angrily Tweeted on a Saturday night at 3AM (uh, oops). Of course, with an athlete the stakes are higher. Especially when you’re a Washington Redskins scrub who hasn’t even played a game, who called out his team’s fans as “dimwits.” Who’s the dimwit here, exactly?