For Student-Athletes, Social Media Can Doom A Career
Mo’ne Davis is 14 years old.
You may not have heard of Joey Cassleberry, an infielder for Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania.
Cassleberry is a grown man, playing college baseball.
Why would these two ever be connected? Well, social media, of course. Cassleberry took to Twitter to slam Davis and call her a derogatory slur.
Yes, that grown man insulted a teenage girl on a social media platform for everyone to see.
And everyone did see. The disgusting tweet blew up around the country, causing Bloomsburg to kick Cassleberry off its team. Davis, in her customary charm, advocated for Cassleberry’s reinstatement, citing that everyone makes mistakes.
But not all mistakes are made equal, as Cassleberry is finding out the hard way. For youth athletes everywhere, there’s a lesson to be learned out of this sad, sad situation.
Social media is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s a fantastic way to engage with others and to stay updated with the latest news and notes of the world. Many athletes use social media to enhance their reputations and show their personalities, which often can be misinterpreted on the field of play.
But it’s extremely dangerous as well, capable of derailing a career before it even starts.
Morrow girls head basketball coach Anthony McKissic not only leads the Mustangs’ hoops program, but he’s also the recruiting coordinator at Morrow. He’s seen the damage social media can do to a high school talent.
McKissic goes as far as to urge young players to stay off social media.
“Athletes looking to play on the college level, I beg of you, please close your social media accounts,” he said. “Social media sites are not your friends. They have one purpose and that’s for entertainment. When you are an athlete, you cannot do the same things that regular students do. You are held to a higher level.”
While completely losing social media may be an unpopular opinion, it reiterates the need for student-athletes to use a filter on social media. As McKissic says, “Face your problems, don’t Facebook them.”
It’s a hard truth to swallow for youngsters sometimes, but it’s a reality nonetheless. Parents, coaches and players especially, I urge you to use social media for the right reasons. Joey Cassleberry did not, and will have to live with one dumb tweet the rest of his life.
Look, it’s not about you. Sports is about teamwork, and selfishness can occur off the field just as easy as it can on it.
McKissic sums up my thoughts with this final quote.
“When you put on your school’s uniform, you are now a part of something that is bigger than yourself,” he said. “If you cannot accept that, then you shouldn’t try out.”
Think before you tweet.
ByLuke Stockland, posted on news-daily.com