Athletes v Media on Twitter


The one benefit of Twitter is that it allows the common folk, i.e. the fan a small window, at times into the relationship between athletes and the media (something we tend to care about here a little bit). The media comments, editorializes and promotes on social media and has become a much bigger part of our daily, real time sports lives as a result of social media, especially on twitter.

Throughout the history of professional sports there have been spats and differences of opinions between the athlete and those who cover the game. With the exception of the obvious bias, it was rare that there was any real public evidence of the state of the relationship. Yes, during tv or radio interviews between two enemies eyes could be rolled, things muttered or the interview ended abruptly. However for the most part the fan had no real clear insight into what was going on “behind the scenes”.

Today that’s different. Both the athletes and the scribes place themselves into the public forum by taking part (or not) in the social media arena. There is interaction between players (that may be a little hokey), interaction between fan and player (albeit somewhat rare), interaction between fan and media (unfortunately this can get rather personal), interaction between media and media (for the most part fun banter, but the odd time combative) and then the newest form the interaction between athlete and media.

A good chunk of the tweets from media are of the promoting type; here’s a link to my column, I will be on the radio talking etc. However, from time to time some media members try to engage the athlete. Even more rare are the instances where the media choose to engage.

Steve Simmons tweeted about Jose Bautista and Bautista tweeted back. Nothing more was said, at least not yet. One exchange on Twitter does not make a trend but it’s interesting to me as yet another example of how the 2 parties interact and get along.

It will be interesting to me to see if this continues and if more athletes start responding to media members much the way sports management types have in the past.

Happy hump day!

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