NFP suggests the Jets cut/traded players because of twitter.
Do NFL Players Reveal Too Much About Their Personal Lives Online?
by Erik Manassy on May 4, 2010
I recently have come across a really interesting article from the “National Football Post“, entitled: “Social Media and the NFL: Players walk fine line between branding and revealing too much” by Sports Agent Jack Bechta.
Jack Bechta is one of the most respected agents in the NFL and has represented players for more than two decades.
As you are aware, I love the fact that NFL Players, specifically Jets players, coaches, and celebrities tweet. The more you tweet the more I love it because I love to see the inner workings of a pro-athlete. If you are lucky enough to interact with one and they talk back, the better. This Jets Blog, “Jets Twit” was born on that premise of interacting with the NFL’s New York Jets Players and anyone associated with the franchise, including it’s die hard fans.
Jack Bechta talks about the risks of NFL Players tweeting, or having a facebook fan page or even trying to promote their own brand.
All of my rookie clients who just returned from their first minicamp were briefed on what they should and shouldn’t say to the media. One team even told its players that they should “think twice” before tweeting or talking about their experiences in minicamp. Twitter, Facebook and other outlets makes coaches and GMs a little nervous.
I think the same rules apply to twitter or any social media tool as they do when the player is in front of a beat writer or the national media. The problem is that the players are limited and have a set schedule of when those latter interactions take place. With social media, the player can interact and broadcast at any given moment on any given topic. There are no rules, or are there? Many PR departments of professional teams are trying to either ban the habit or at least set some rules or guidelines.
The New York Jet have been known as a twitter friendly ball club and has been on record of encouraging their players to do partake. I had a beat writer, Jane McManus take some photos of the guidelines that were posted in the locker room during the 2009 season.
Getting back to Jack’s article, this next part is what set my ears perking upward:
I know of one GM and ownernship group who have grown so irritated and tired of their top players’ social efforts that they decided to clean house of those individuals. The team has already recently parted ways with three players and has its sights set on several more it would like to see go. The brass simply feels that their players’ focus should be 100 percent on winning and not be distracted on building their own brand.
Wow. Sound like some team you know? Oooh Oooh, pick me, pick me. Ok, this sounds a lot like the Jets!!
Leon Washington (Leon did not have an account, but his wife tweeted a lot about the players situation)
Kerry Rhodes was king of promoting his personal brand. He also was very vocal online about his benching last year and also interacted a ton with some “haters” where his tweets were taken out of context and reported in the main stream media. Half of this blogs posts were about Kerry and his interactions on twitter.
The Jets absolutely fits the criterea above. Even if the Jets were Twitter friendly at the beginning of training camp in 2009, I know (because I covered every story), they have every reason to be the team that has grown tired of players speaking out using this median.
If it is also true that they have grown tired and have their sights set on several more players they want to see go, here is who should worry the most:
David had made prime time when he tweeted complained about his playing time on twitter. He was later benched for the next game, and Rex swears that it wasn’t a tweet that got him benched but the fact that Ryan had to address the topic was probably making him grow tired fast.
He recently made twitter news when they signed Santonio Holmes, a fellow WR, and his possible replacement. Although he didn’t say it specifically online, everyone knew what he was talking about in this tweet.
The only other players in my opinion that fit the criteria of being targeted as to being cut because of their mouths online would be:
The players that talk a lot online are character guys and there is no way that these are the players that Jack is referring to:
The other players who tweet wouldn’t even be in the picture. Why? They were just aquired or their name is Mark Sanchez:
Jack makes a great point that if a player gives to his fans, then they have a pass to go out and grow their personal brand. OchoCinco sticks out as an example of this:
I’m a big believer in personal exposure, but it has to come in a form that’s beneficial to the fan base first. Give to the fans and they’ll give back to you.
Nick Mangold, Mark Sanchez and Dustin Keller do this very well online.
There’s no doubt that social media is here to stay, but it’s just a matter of time before the NFL looks to muzzle it once a player has crossed the line and gone too far.
…and if that happens, they should be punished as accordingly. I don’t believe it’s the tool, it’s the person that is doing the “evil”.