Saturday, August 3, 2013

Thoughts on Athletes and Social Media

      Philadelphia mayor wants more action to be taken against Riley Cooper for his racial slur made last week. Ohio State RB Carlos Hyde suspended for three games for hitting (in some manner) a young woman in a bar. High profile people constantly apologizing for a stupid comment made on twitter. Young people! this is the age of social media. College football coaches look at computers almost everyday. Of course, everything about a recruit is out there.
      I have warned young high school players before, I know, but for one last time. You simply cannot say anything or do anything wherever you want in this day. Big brother is watching. Someone has a camera. Someone is going to gain instant recognition by posting on the internet. In a way people with the cameras can hurt or help" They are going to take or get what they need and walk away. The football player will be hurting. But, sometimes this information is good.
      Using racial slurs, getting drunk, and showing disrespect to a woman. These actions are not going to go away. Thank goodness, times are continuing to change, and these actions are becoming less frequent. The bad sign is that they still occur.
      When I think about racial comments, I think back to the spring of 2012. The minister had recognized the graduating seniors, and as I was walking out of church. I congratulated a young man who was going onto college to play football. I also asked him how one of his former teammates was doing in college football. "Oh, you mean that colored guy?" My comment to him was "You probably do not want to use that term around your teammates this fall."
      This blog is about being aware of what can go on the internet, not about racial slurs. Although posting on Facebook is fun, putting distasteful pictures or comments can get a recruit into trouble with coaches who are recruiting him. Trying to be "too bad," or losing his temper in competition can cause an athlete to make comments that he would not always use. Attending alcohol/ drug parties, either somber or drunk can lead to distasteful pictures. Finally, disrespect to a woman can lead to major problems, even criminal.
      I talk with college coaches often. "Character" is always brought up about a recruit. "Would you let Joe Smoe stay at your house all weekend, without you there?" This has become an important question to recruiters. As you can guess, I tell them the truth. Not because of me, but I know of one major college program who rejected a recruit, because coaches could not answer positively.
      I have always thought athletes are special. With that said, athletes have to be more disciplined both on and off the field. Once a word is said or an action is taken, it does not go away. Good judgment and making good decisions are HUGE. Smart phones, Facebook, and U-tube are only get stronger. Bad judgments could be costly.

1 comment:

Donald Wells said...

Mr. McCallister,

I wish more young adults understood this and acted accordingly. We are asking them to grow up faster but the rewards are much greater. Thank you for your work with young people!