Should Professional Athletes Have Restrictions on Social Media

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The professional sports industry is a key component in the entertainment business. With the popularity of many athletes and leagues, image is important. Social media, like Facebook and Twitter, are networks commonly used by millions of people around the world. Of these two networks, Twitter is leading the social movement with the ease of making short statements called “tweets” (Comm, 2009). A few issues of athletes tweeting inappropriate comments have piqued many league commissioners’ attention. Some NFL players have made offensive comments via Twitter, but have not been punished for their actions. The Kansas City Chiefs thought differently and released Larry Johnson for offensive tweets (Battista, 2009). Johnson posted many insulting tweets such as homophobic slurs, coaching criticisms, and insulted a fan for making less money (Battista, 2009). In a lighter situation, Houston Texans’ Arian Foster posted an image of his injured hamstring MRI and tweeted, “this is an MRI of my hamstring, The white stuff surrounding the muscle is known in the medical world as anti-awesomeness” (Friedman, 2012, p. 94). Foster’s tweet did not violated league policy, but it violated team policy for disclosing medical information (Friedman, 2012). The Texans and Foster handled the situation internally. These are the types of situations leagues and teams want players to be mindful of when posting information on social media. It is hard to create a policy about social media due to potentially violating professional leagues’ collective bargaining agreements. Every league commissioner has a different level of power to change rules and policies. For the most part, commissioners cannot change policies without negotiating if policies deal with wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment (Friedman, 2012). In 2009, the NBA, NFL and MLB imposed policies regarding when players

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