Story by Sarah Mobbs
Last week, you’ll remember (hopefully) my mention of the use of Twitter by fans to abuse referee Mark Halsey. This week, I want to talk about the effect that the use of social networking sites actually have on the reputations and further actions of players, officials and fans.
Last week we saw the fans were in bad books after some seriously sickening comments were made about Halsey’s battle with cancer back in 2009 after his refereeing during the Manchester United/ Liverpool match.
This week however, it is the players who are in trouble. Ashley Cole, to be more specific. We all know about John Terry’s trial with both the “regular” courts, and the FA’s private case against his actions, but Ashley Cole seems to have been very verbal about the whole thing this weekend, using Twitter to call the FA a “bunch of t—ts” after they began to doubt the evidence he gave. Cole has issued an apology through his solicitor, and the Tweet was quickly deleted. But now Cole too will come up before the FA on the charge that his comments were “improper” and “brought the game into disrepute.”
And in a way I fully understand this. How are the fans supposed to have any respect or faith in the FA, if players are publicly bad-mouthing them on social networking sites. Plus, for players to use sites such as Twitter to for actions such as these, or to make comments against fellow players, teams or officials, fans are not discouraged from doing so themselves. These players are often looked up to by the younger generations as role-models and it’s a great shame that so many do not see themselves as such, and continue to show children, teenagers and adults that they believe their actions are acceptable.
So, I’d like to take this opportunity to advise, rather than ask, that next time we feel our teams are hard done by the refs, when a player on any team has greatly annoyed us, or we just fancy having a bit of a rant at the way some teams are run, try to keep it “respectful”. By all means go vocal, go viral, but don’t become a villain because I assure you, it won’t really do anyone any good, and particularly with respect to the Mark Halsey case, it could land you in A LOT of trouble!