Believe it or not, we members of the press really do like it when you speak in something besides “Craig Biggio-cliché” speak. It gives us, and by extension, the fans, more insight into you as a person. That in turns helps you to connect with the public, and connecting with the public can become a very important factor in whether you actually succeed and make the big bucks because, believe it or not, it’s not always about athletic talent.
In many ways, that’s why Twitter has been such a boon. It allows you to interact directly with your public, without going through the filter of those of us in the media, yet affording you some protection since you don’t actually have to physically meet your fans in order to interact. That said, you have to learn to be careful. Just because you’re joking around with a teammate and or a roommate on twitter doesn’t mean the whole world is absent. Unless your tweets are protected, it’s possible for those outside of your friends to see what you tweet. While you may be engaging in a twitter war with your teammate in the room down the hall, the tweet is accessible to everybody.
So before you push the “send” button, pause for a moment and make sure that what you’re about to send is something that you really want all of your followers to see. Especially if there is a racial or sexual slur included in your tweet. Yes, you may be using in a joking manner to jab back at your teammate for a joke he made about you, but jokes don’t always come over on Twitter, and there are JUST some words you can’t, even in a joking manner.
While I’m no George Carlin with his ever-expanding list of seven words you can’t say on TV or radio, be sure of this, if your tweet includes the “N” word, the “C” word, or the “F” word, you’re going to piss somebody off because those are just words that are out-and-out offensive to various groups, including, probably, somebody who is one of your followers.
It’s a shame that the Aeros’ Justin Fontaine had to learn this lesson, a lesson which currently includes a two-game suspension that was imposed on him by the parent organization – I’m still not sure how his teammate escaped suspension though I can partly attest that his teammate is someone I’ve come to know the past several years and is someone I believe is a truly good person who would never, ever intentionally set out to offend anyone.
So please use the Twitter to communicate with your friends, family, and fans. Just remember that if you’re about to tweet language that you couldn’t say in front of a crowd of fans, then it’s probably something you shouldn’t tweet, or something that perhaps you should find better, more appropriate language. (Besides, how dare anybody insult the Foo Fighters.)