To Tweet or Not To Tweet

Steve O Speak

This has to be one of the dumbest stories I’ve ever read of a professional sports league imposing a fine. Usually (not always) I support a league for fining a player or coach for their excessive behavior, be it language, fighting, criticism of the refs, or celebration. There needs to be proper etiquette and decorum in the league. Players, coaches, owners and refs should all respect the history and tradition of their league. So when I heard that Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings was fined for tweeting I thought he did something to warrant it. So when I read to find out what inappropriate comment or criticism he made I was shocked to read his tweet: “Back to 500. Yess!!! ‘500’ means were doing good. Way to Play Hard Guys.”

Now what could be wrong with that? He is writing a positive comment about his team, showing them support and congratulating everyone who helped out with the win. He didn’t criticize anyone or make the post about himself. He supported his teammates and franchise and is communicating with the fans. While twitter is the ultimate self-promotion (which I too will take part in when I tweet this story), it is also promoting the NBA and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks have been a struggling franchise for years now, this team needs all the promotion and bright spots possible. While Twitter and tweeting can have plenty of issues, this is a case how it is used in its purest and most honest form. Jennings was communicating with fans, in an appropriate that shows respect for the game and not the individual. Isn’t that exactly what the NBA should want? So often professional athletes have a me first attitude, Twitter is a way for all fans to interact with their favorite players and teams, and while there are plenty of instances of abuse this is not one of them.

Now I understand the NBA’s rule that states that a player can’t tweet during “game time”, which is defined as between 45 minutes before the game, until after they’ve finished their media session after the game. So yes Jennings broke the NBA rule, but he wasn’t tweeting from the sideline with a minute to go. Nor did he tweet during halftime or a timeout. He tweeted from the locker room after the game. I can totally understand not tweeting during the game, and maybe even before the game. But after the clock hits 0:00? That just seems like a little much. I understand that players must be made available to the media (and the fans) after the game. But how long did it take Jennings to write that tweet, a minute and a half tops. I don’t think he held anyone up, and in fact he beat everyone to the punch, because he communicated with the fans (and the media) through his tweet. Hopefully the NBA may revise their after game tweeting policy and worry more about content, than punishing a 20 year old who is excited to be a part of an improving team.

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