Spanning the Twitterverse: Mendenhall, Athletes & Twitter

Spanning the Twitterverse to bring you the constant variety of tweets….the thrill of the retweet….and the agony of the unfollow.…the human drama of the twitter timeline….This is CadChica’s Wide World of Tworts

TWITTER AND ATHLETES

In a way, I’ve been dreading this post. Invariably, someone might read this and miscontrue my intention and have a field day with it and next thing you know my name is plastered all over Twitter. I’ll be trending in Mexico, India and Japan. I’ll have to start fielding calls and answering emails having to defend myself all because of this post. It will be never ending. TV networks will be filming me typing my blog or reading TweetDeck and my life will never be the same.

WHO AM I KIDDING? I’m not @ReallyVirtual (who now has 105,440 followers as of right now @ 9:52pm PDT, 5/5/11). I’m just a sports and Twitter fan who does have an opinion.

And there’s the rub. Opinions. They’re a dime a dozen. They’re too easy to give; especially on Twitter.

On ESPN’s Outside the Lines today, several panelists discussed this issue today in light of the Rashard Mendenhall controversy which you can read about here on ESPN. Thankfully, the link to the show can be seen on YouTube.

The reaction today on Twitter both before and after the show:

Lots of varying perspective there and that’s just a small sampling. Now, as I said, I was dreading this post. Yes, I actually was but not for the silly reasons I listed above. Or maybe those were the reasons. Not to the overexaggerated extent I listed but because it only takes one person to disagree with a post, or a tweet, to become a firestorm.

That being said, here is my take, for what it’s worth.

I like athletes on Twitter. I don’t follow them so I can know where they stand on political issues. I follow or check their Twitter feed because I like knowing what makes people tick. Oh sure, I may reply to something they say now and then but I like trying to figure out why they are the way they are. How did they become successful? What was it in their past that motivated them? What did they overcome? Sure maybe their perspective on political issues gives insight into who they are but I’m not going to crucify them like some people so.

Does that mean I agree with Rashard Mendenhall? No. At least not about the Osama Bin Laden and 9/11 tweets. Where I do agree with him is the whole celebration part of Bin Laden’s death. He didn’t agree with it and, quite frankly, I don’t either. Many Americans are disgusted/appalled/taken aback when other countries “celebrate” the death of an American, particularly on 9/11. And now, Americans, were “celebrating” a death. I did not understand it and still don’t. That is my opinion only.

Having said that, my assumption is that is what made Mendenhall “tick” when he clicked the enter button that day. I “also” understand why some people were outraged. The beauty of Twitter is it’s constant, instant communication. Mendenhall communicated and people “instantly” responded. He has since “clarified” his tweets.

So what’s the bottom line: Opinions are choices. Mendenhall made a choice to give his opinion in tweets. People chose to reply/respond to it by giving theirs. We all have a choice to tweet or not to tweet (Shakespeare I’m not). We have a choice to follow or not to follow someone on Twitter. We have a choice whether to be offended or not. We ALL have a choice when it comes to Twitter. Believe me, there are many times where I wish I hadn’t tweeted something. And even more when I chose not to; nothing to gain by venting in a tweet.

There. I did it. A little more serious tone than I wanted but I needed to say it. Five years from now, who knows, I may rethink my ‘opinion’ and it could change. Not very likely but it could happen.

Let’s see now, I’m only 100,000+ followers away from @ReallyVirtual. Will this post put me over the top? (just kidding..really)

CadChica Sports

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