The world of sports is a treasure trove of personal branding. From loud personalities like LaVar Ball to the soft spoken Marshawn Lynch, there’s no act, just the person at hand. This is perhaps one of the fascinating elements of the sports we love but at the same time, has shown as some downfalls as well.
Granted, there are a lot of extremes when it comes what sports stars may have intentionally or accidentally shared online, but the overall consensus is that even the slightest hiccup is up to the world’s ridicule. And if you’re looking for a lesson on what you should or shouldn’t post, fear not, as we’ve compiled a few of the most noteworthy social media mistakes in sports. Check them out below:
If there’s a classic example of social media failures, then look no further than Johnny Manziel. The man has a whole laundry list of exploits, from numerous party pictures to even having a photo of himself rolling up a dollar bill in the bathroom mirror. And if Johnny Football wants a second chance at the league, it might be a good idea to try and scrub his online image clean using a tool like Profile Defenders.
Although mostly known for taking contested shots at inopportune moments, J.R. Smith made one of the worst mistakes online he could. The now infamous story of a DM exchange with a fan that led to the line “You trying to get the pipe?” has become a legendary meme. Smith has since moved on from the subject and even has improved his game with the Cavaliers, but the message will always be immortalized.
First Take start Stephen A Smith has publicly battled with athletes throughout his career, but one quick loss to his belt was his beef with the satirical paper The Onion. In 2012, Smith went on a Twitter rant bashing the paper for telling outright lies about having a conversation with his nine-year-old son about sex, even though the article was made up to make fun of Smith’s aggressive debate style. Overall, the lesson here is to look before you Tweet.
While having one of the most illustrious NBA careers of all time, Allen Iverson quickly gained notoriety for poor financial management. Granted, his deal with Reebok protects him long term, which means he’ll be seeing a few million within the next couple years, but as Lexington Law– a credit repair firm notes, there are plenty of options to settle debts without going bankrupt.
In his first year in the league, D’Angelo Russell ended up alienating all of his teammates simply by “snitching on himself.” Russell had captured a video of fellow teammate Nick Young remarking his alleged infidelity, which caused the whole locker room to turn on him. With a fresh start in Brooklyn, we’ll see if Russell can get his young career off to a fresh start.
Aldon Smith tried to play things smart and lost completely. In a Periscope video from last year, Smith can be seen puffing on a hand rolled cigarette, which is then debated on if he could be caught smoking or not. However, at one point he says “They don’t know it’s me. It’s not like I put Aldon Smith”, which drew the line. Smith was suspended all last year for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
As this past year’s #1 pick in the NBA draft, most folks knew after the Celtics had traded the pick to the 76’ers that Fultz would call Philly his home. However, it took less than 24 hours for Fultz to rub fans the wrong way, forgetting to fill in the blanks on a planned tweet, stating he was “Excited to head to (City) and join the (team name).” Welcome to the league, Markelle.
A lot of folks would argue that Riley Cooper should’ve lost his job a long time ago after yelling out racial epithets and threats at a Kenny Chesney concert in 2013. While Cooper issued an apology and ended up being fined by the Eagles, the legacy of his words still live on. Cooper is currently a free agent.
There are certain things in life best left private. And as Draymond Green could tell you, what you send on Snapchat (NSFW) should be one of them. Green accidentally posted a picture of his nether regions that he otherwise meant to send privately, which as he said it best: “We’re all one click away from placing something in the wrong place. I suffered from that this morning.” True words, Draymond.
Tom Terrific has often been lauded for being the NFL’s “Golden Boy,” that is, he can do no wrong and is an excellent example across the board. However, this past year, his online reputation took a hit, people wouldn’t stop talking about. What was initially just a photo of a “Make America Great Again” hat placed in his locker, questions about Brady’s support for Trump escalated during the presidential race. Despite his best efforts to veer the conversation a different direction, Brady couldn’t help everyone’s desire to bring politics into his work. However, while no one actually knows whom the Patriots quarterback voted for or even supports politically, winning a fifth Super Bowl ring certainly might make people forget the whole thing altogether.
If you’re a multinational sports star, it might be good to figure out the difference between a tweet and a DM, which Lance Armstrong made the fatal mistake of not knowing as Armstrong once tweeted out his phone number to the entire world. Yikes.
People get tattoos for a number of different reasons, but for former Milwaukee Bucks star Larry Sanders, the meaning got lost in the message. Sanders made the epic mistake of posting a tattoo that misspelled the word “receive,” which he took with a grain of salt and a sense of humor. Good on you, Larry.