If you haven’t looked up Wright Thompson’s piece on Johnny Manziel at ESPN.com, do it.
I was moved to ponder how the new age of social media is challenging athletes about how they conduct themselves as well as what colleges (and major league teams) need to help them navigate it.
You can see the whole piece here, but here is a snippet:
If you haven’t, take a few minutes and do so, because it’s fascinating.
For extra credit, read the comments, which are almost as fascinating as the article itself.
Since the article hit, there has been a wide range of reaction (perfectly represented by the comments on the article, by the way) about what the article means and who Johnny Football is.
The turmoil around Manziel highlights how athletes today are faced with challenges that athletes 10 or even five years ago weren’t confronted with.
Social media, especially Twitter, is a benefit and a curse.
Once upon a time, if you were a football player at Michigan and wanted to go to a party at Michigan State, you might get away with it.
Maybe someone would make a call to a local radio show and say something or perhaps the trip might end up in your student newspaper.
As long as you stayed out of trouble, though, you were probably fine.
Now, with Twitter, Facebook, Vine, YouTube, Tumblr and numerous other social media sites, you cannot burp without someone posting about it.
The most fascinating thing about articles like mine or Thompson’s is the venom regarding Manziel and his actions. It’s not that he’s acting out, mind you—it’s that his family has money.
That might say more about us than him.