The Consequences of Social Media Faux Pas for Athletes

The Consequences of Social Media Faux Pas for Athletes

It is that precious and most treasured time of the year—no, not Christmas—football season.

During this time of the year, weekends are not the time to relax, they are a time to strap on your colors and cheer on your team to victory come rain or shine, hell or high water. Fans explode with play-by-plays on Twitter and Facebook, they voice their anger and frustration, they celebrate their victories and mourn their losses, and they practically worship their players.

Now more than ever, athletes are being followed on social media. Every post they make, every hashtag they use is received by tens of thousands (in some cases millions) of followers all over the world. This kind of influence over the web can be extremely beneficial and extremely harmful. Many athletes have not perfected the proper use of their social media accounts and are unaware of the impact they can have on their audience.

Example… 3rd string QB for Ohio State. His account has since been deactivated.


The new social media tactic of marketing for the individual has inspired many athletes and celebrities to broaden their fan-base and influence the public. In just a short amount of time it has sky rocketed the popularity and reputations of many athletes, even pushing them a step ahead professionally. ESPN has began to investigate the influence social media will have (or already has) on the NFL draft in the coming years. For some players like Tim Tebow and Chad Johnson, their positive presence on social media will prove to have a helping hand in catapulting their career.

However some athletes are victims to their own social media faux pas.

The “catfishing” scandal of Manti Teo that exploded all over the news and multiple social platforms, is just an example of how one wrong move can create an unbelievably negative reputation over social media.

College recruits are being monitored on Twitter by teams who are interested in them. Just this past year, there have been recruits who had their scholarship offers revoked because of what they posted on social media.

The power social media has on sports does not stop at football and the draft. Athletes like the soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, basketball player Kobe Bryant, and tennis celebrity Rafael Nadal have proven to use social media to dominate in their field and promote their brand.


Despite an athlete’s reputation, the pure talent of the player will remain the deciding factor of their success. Seeing how athletes portray themselves over social media is a great indicator of how well they will handle their future fame and disputes.

Who do you think are some athletes who are doing it right?

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