Sean Newcomb, Trea Turner, Josh Hader. You’ve seen the tweets, you’ve seen the backlash, but there were quite a few before them that fell victim to social media outrage because of tweets and posts that they put out there as teens. Now, I’m not defending anything that these guys posted, not at all. What I’m defending is the right for them to be who they are as adults rather than being judged by juvenile naivete and/or stupidity.
None of us were perfect when we were younger. We all said stupid things, we all did stupid things. But unless you’re under the age of 30, no one in the world saw it or heard it. It’s not living on in infamy. As a matter of fact, it’s more than likely completely forgotten. What can start as an innocent trash talking of sorts amongst friends can now be misconstrued as racism, bigotry, homophobia, or even worse. It’s what teenagers have always done. Again, I’m not defending what was posted, but I don’t really care what someone posted as a dumb, naïve kid. I just don’t.
There are those out there that will scream and cry for justice simply because that’s who they are. Get over it. We live in a world that is becoming more and more transparent. It’s a world that is also seemingly looking for ways to be offended. My take has always been this; if you’re offended by words, log off and get help. And if you’re digging up tweets that are several years old, I’m just wondering how sad your life is. Who hurt you? Isn’t that an exhausting way to live?
Athletes across the board are undoubtedly doing damage control as we speak. This may even become vital in collegiate recruiting. Do schools hire a social media mole to see if there are any offensive posts? I think we’ll see it head in that direction, to be honest. In this day and age, the best proactive thing you can do is to think before you hit ‘send’. Social media has become so habitual, but you really don’t have to post every thought that crosses your mind. And I don’t mean just the tweets that could offend. No one cares that you got a new umbrella either. Trust me.
On top of the media backlash, these athletes also have to face their teammates in the locker room. Team unity is being tested on an entirely different level than we’re used to seeing. I haven’t heard of any dissension yet, but I’m sure there will be a case where that changes. In the meantime, my plan is to just enjoy the games. I refuse to buy into the drama. Take a step back and look at every mistake you’ve ever made. Now imagine the world watching while you did it. Exactly. Now go watch the game.