Twitter: Controlling The Message

Twitter can be an athlete’s best friend. 

In as much as I believe Twitter has obliterated the dividing lines between fans/media/athletes, Twitter has also provided a forum for athlete’s to control their message.

Case in point: Shawne Merriman.

Yesterday, TMZ posted a story on retired NFL’er, Shawne Merriman, possibly overdosing on drugs: 

[tweet align=’center’]

Shawne Merriman? Overdose? Merriman strikes me as someone who tries his best to take care of himself. Recently beginning a new business venture, he “seemed” as though everything was fine (at least on Twitter he did). So when I began seeing tweets from him yesterday morning, I was slightly surprised. Then I realized…”TMZ story”. 

Merriman did too as he began addressing the story directly on Twitter. 

[tweet align=’center’] [tweet align=’center’] [tweet align=’center’] [tweet align=’center’]

Attempting to search for the original TMZ story now, shows “Page not found”:

TMZ Shawne MerrimanGood for Shawne Merriman for getting on this story right away using Twitter. (I checked his Facebook page and Merriman did not address the story there.) From early on in Twitter-life, I have believed that it allows athletes to control a story about them. By Merriman addressing the issue quickly, he forced TMZ to “update” their story. 

TMZ's Merriman udpateWhatever happened to Merriman isn’t the issue. Only he knows the truth. He, and other athletes like him, shows that the power is in their hands via Twitter when negative stories come out. Confront or address it, provide “necessary” details (truth helps) and move on. 

Anyone talking about this Merriman incident today? 

Didn’t think so. 


CadChica Sports

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