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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Commentary

Spurrier right to censor players


Earlier in the month, South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier banned his team from using Twitter.

After one former player tweeted a false rumor about a current player, the Ol’ Ball Coach decided it was time to put a social media muzzle on the Gamecocks. Other players were also rumored to be sharing questionable tweets via Twitter.

“We have some dumb, immature players that put crap on their Twitter, and we don’t need that,” Spurrier said to reporters at the SEC Media Day.

“So the best thing to do is just ban it.”

When outlets like Facebook and Twitter are being used irresponsibly, this is the right course of action. If online content becomes a distraction it might be best to log off — at least for the length of the season.

Spurrier is not the first coach to do so, and will certainly not be the last. It is necessary to silence athletes when they are not being good representatives of their program.

The beauty of social media for sports fans is that it gives athletes an unfiltered pedestal to share their thoughts, as well as the opportunity to interact with them. But in that uniqueness is a risk.

All amateur and professional players deserve to have opinions, but problems arise when those views are broadcast to the world and then shared repeatedly.

People tend to let their guard down when using Twitter, and post tweets that could be likened to journal entries. Some users are not guarded, and tweet with a casual tone.

More so than any other group in the public eye, athletes need to reserve their thoughts from the public. Followers are used to reading actors and musicians share their political and social ideals, but when athletes share something controversial it is more likely to become a story.

As soon as media outlets have a screenshot of a controversial post, it sparks a frenzy. No apology can take back the proof left behind.

Whether they know it or not, players are always serving as ambassadors for their team or university — even if it is through an online persona.

If they could refrain from posting inappropriate musings, athletes would have had the go-ahead to use social media to their hearts’ content.

Otherwise, head coaches need to start playing the wardens of Twitter jail.


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