Social media’s massive affect on sports

Published 3:30 pm Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Sports fans around the world have cherished the flourishing of social media. People are instantaneously able to see replays, results, photos, videos and snippets of their favorite teams during their games and practices, and fans eat it up. But, something I noticed over a weekend full of watching football, is like anything else, there is an ugly side to social media’s use.

The bigger the market of the team, especially at the college level, the more unsightly the comments can be after a team suffers a loss or a player makes a mistake.

As someone who follows college football closely, I’ve noticed the hate that spews from the thumbs of fans from behind their social media avatars. The audacity of some of these people that directly send tweets to 18-22 year olds telling them how bad they are, when they never stepped foot on a football field at a high-level themselves is border line pathetic.

These college kids have to deal with an everyday schedule that entails morning workouts, classes, three meals with calorie goals, a three-hour practice, studying and homework. They give blood, sweat and tears on the football field and give up all of their Saturdays to put a product on the field.

There’s a fine line that stands between being a fan and being ridiculous. Fans cross that line when they start directly calling out the athletes for not performing to their standards, a standard in which they never met themselves.

I feel for the athlete. As someone who was blessed with the opportunity to be around athletes and befriend quite a few in my college tenure, they’re human, too. They hurt and feel the exact same way regular human beings do, they just happen to be good enough at a sport to be on a larger platform.

Everybody can have an opinion. In general conversation there’s nothing wrong with expressing what you think about a players performance, but when a person stoops down so low as to directly tell a player — in which they’re not better than — that they played bad, is a misapplication of social media.

The issues extend beyond just this aspect of social media, but those are a topic for another time. Lay off the college athletes on their twitter and Facebook profiles, they deserve to enjoy the good that social media brings as much as the fans do, without being crucified in the comments.