Social Media and Professional Athletes: Should professional leagues control what athletes post? #J398 #SMLegal

In the wake of the Ray Rice incidents thousands of people have taken to social media to post their thought on the incident. One of those was Paul George, a 23 year-old NBA player from the Indiana Pacers.

George’s tweet on the Ray Rice incident read, “Keep it 100 lets act on this police violence like we actin on this Ray Rice case! Stay strong homie!

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Of course the NBA and the Pacers organization were not pleased with George’s tweet and the bad grammar was not the reason why.

The league quickly released a statement calling George’s tweets “thoughtless” and “without regard to the subject of domestic violence and its seriousness in society.”

The NBA also made it clear they will not condone or tolerate remarks of this nature.

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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Retrieved from nydailynews.com

Social media has become a place of authentic communication between a superstar athlete and their fans. However, it has also evolved into a PR land mine for professional leagues. Especially when athletes share their thoughts on current controversial issues.

This causes this question to arise, should professional leagues like the NBA control what their athletes post on social media in order to avoid a PR nightmare?

The answer to this question is in the collective bargaining agreements each league commissioner signs with their player unions. The collective bargaining agreements or CBA, governs how and what players can be disciplined for and what restrictions can be imposed on them.

The CBA gives league commissioners the power to implement a rule as long as it does not affect the players’, “wages, hours, and other terms and condition of employment.” If they do, commissioners are in danger of committing an unfair labor practice.

In recent years it has become increasingly difficult for commissioners to determine what restrictions or rules relate to “conditions of employment.” Especially when it comes to relating actions that occur in a players private life or home.

A league commissioner under the current CBA agreements cannot fully control what players do on social media. They can implement a fine and ask players to remove the public post but legally that is all they can do to avoid a legal battle with an athlete.

To prevent a PR nightmare the best option for a professional sports league is to educate their athletes, implement specific social media guidelines and hope their players also use a bit of their common sense.

Friedman, D. (n.d.). Social Media In Sports: Can Professional Sports League Commissioners Punish ‘Twackle Dummies’?. Digitalcommons. Retrieved September 12, 2014, from http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1007&context=pipself

An intro to myself and my career goals #J398

 

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Hello everyone!

My name is Alan Cuevas and welcome to my professional blog. Through this blog I will talk about my life, career aspirations, and my passion for sports specifically track and cross-country.

About Me:

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I am a senior student-athlete at Chico State majoring in Public Relations with a minor in Marketing. I run for the Chico State cross-country and track team where I have helped our team earn four consecutive CCAA conference titles and two top six NCAA national finishes.

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Competitive sports have been a passion of mine since I first joined organized sports at five years old. Through the years I have played basketball, and soccer but I really fell in love with competitive running. In my opinion, there’s nothing better then lining up against 200 other competitors and seeing who’s willing to push themselves harder to the finish line.

Career Aspirations:

After college, I plan on pursuing a marketing or PR career in the sports industry. I hope to begin with an entry-level position at a marketing agency specializing with clients in the sports industry.

However one-day I hope to work for the NBA organization the Los Angeles Lakers. I know it will take years of networking, and experience to become an ideal job candidate but its been a goal of mine since middle school.

The Los Angeles Lakers and the National Basketball Association do a great job of engaging with their audiences through social media both through their own profiles and with their athletes. The Lakers have 19.6 million twitter followers while the NBA has 11.1 million.

The NBA requires their players to have at least one social media account. Athletes use their profiles to help fans get an inside look into their thoughts and their personal life.

For example on April 13, 2013 Kobe Bryant posted on his Facebook wall a very personal thought on his potential career ending injury. The post was a very powerful thing because it gave fans a glimpse into Kobe Bryant’s doubt and frustration.

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Social Channels:

In Jour 398 I am excited to learn more about Google plus. I have little experience with it and I hope to learn to use it in a productive way. It is a useful tool that has grown in popularity in the last few years.