Last week, Tennessee Titan tailback Chris Johnson finally ended his holdout and signed a contract valued at $58 million, with $30 million guaranteed. This holdout was one of the bigger stories during the condensed version of free agency and trades following the NFL lockout.
Leading up to his signing, Johnson criticized fans unhappy with his holdout, saying that he didn’t care if they felt he was greedy or not.
But here’s the real meat of his comments. This was not addressed by press release or a reporter with a microphone in his face. Johnson’s controversial statements came from…wait for it…Twitter.
“Can these fake Titan fans (shut up) on my timeline I don’t have a regular job so don’t compare me to you and I can care less if uthink I’m greedy (sic),” Johnson tweeted.
This incident seems to be part of the growing trend, that being tweets have somehow become one of the primary sources of the media. From ESPN to the blog world (and even small town newspapers), tweets have become fair game to put athletes on the hot spot.
Johnson wasn’t the only one to have the pressure cooker on him due to some tweets either. Houston Texan running back Arian Foster got some flack when he tweeted a picture of his MRI following a pulled hamstring. Foster had previously vented frustrations that fans weren’t concerned about his well-being as much as they were concerned if they should play him on their fantasy teams. He tweeted the picture as a joke, but few found the humor.
Social media is an interesting tool that has become such a staple in today’s society. I’ve often struggled with how I feel about it, as it has evolved so much. My time as a college freshman was the same time when Facebook had just hit its biggest stride.
The “Like” button didn’t exist, nor did fan pages, and accounts were limited to people with a “.edu” email address. I never had to worry about my parents seeing what I had to say, let alone a professor or someone who wanted to hire me for a job. But, today, you see middle schoolers with profiles.
As a member of the media, this evolution is something I’ve had to adapt to. One of the toughest parts for me is that I need to take advantage of Twitter and Facebook. But it sometimes gets challenging when many of the topics I write about still involve high school kids.
The problem is, regardless of age or amateur status, the word privacy doesn’t exist on Facebook or Twitter.