KSA Shark ©

Social Networking in Sport

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Super 14 on 27 May 2011 at 08:05
Tagged with : , , , ,

There can be no denying that social networking, like Twitter and Facebook have changed the way many people think, work, learn and interact, but with it comes responsibility. If you’re a professional sportsman or woman, or even if you are an elite school-going star, your profile pictures should not reflect having a good time with falling-down drug or alcohol-induced states of druggedness or drunkenness.

In rugby, Digby Ioane of the Reds was recently fined following a Tweet he made that criticised a referee while in soccer, Ryan Giggs of Manchester United is currently in the throes of legal wrangles and maritial discord after social networking info got out about an affair he is/was having.

Sir Alex Ferguson, Man United’s Manager, has criticised Twitter as “a waste of time.”

This after Wayne Rooney was involved in an interactive dispute with a twitter follower. With Twitter, one opens one’s self up to all kinds of abuse, this especially with high-profile, famous people.

Ferguson added that with it comes responsibility. “Players are responsible for their actions, for what they say on Twitter.”

“I don’t understand it, to be honest with you. I don’t have the time to do it. There are a million things you can do with your life other than that. Go to a library and read a book. I’m serious. What a waste of time.”

He added that Man United were looking into the players’ use of Twitter, “because there can be issues attached to it and we don’t want that.”

While some might argue that it keeps fans closer to their heroes, Ferguson quipped, “It’s better if you just play well on the pitch.”

Rio Ferdinand was one of the first Man United players to embrace Twitter. He created a personal army of more than a million followers making him one of the most followed people in England. However, midfielder Darron Gibson closed his newly-open twitter account in within minutes after receiving abuse from his own club’s supporters.

Proteas fast bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe is the latest to find himself in hot water and looks likely to have his contract with Essex end early after public criticism via Twitter: “Ive never felt like ths eva. Ths is the worst two mnths of my life. And u know wen u start regretin urself it aint gud. its just impossible to work in ths environment,” he tweeted.

Essex coach Paul Grayson responded by saying, “I’ve read a few of his comments and I am very surprised. We’ve given him a great opportunity to come and play county cricket and what he has said about us is downright rude. There is every chance he will be on the first plane back to South Africa.”

The fact remains, Twitter is a powerful tool and if used correctly and responsibly, can be a valuable marketing and promotional tool.

But used unwisely or unprofessionally opens the user up to abuse, fines and worse.

Article courtesy of Teensport. Teensport is a recently launched website that will provide extensive coverage of school sports throughout KwaZulu-Natal and sports covered include: Rugby, Soccer, Field Hockey and Netball (in winter) and Waterpolo, Tennis, Swimming and Cricket (in the summer).


  • This is so true!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Players as well as management and officials have an obligation to take care of what they post on social networking sites.

  • Comment 1, posted at 27.05.11 08:08:48 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 1) :

    Funny enoughm I went onto this site yesterday..

    It looks quite nice..

  • Comment 2, posted at 27.05.11 08:14:01 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • You are very right KSA, but I also think that it refers to the ordinary bloogers and social network users as well. The fact that one’s personal data may not be disclosed does not mean the licence to abuse, be plain rude etc.

  • Comment 3, posted at 27.05.11 08:16:45 by rekinek Reply
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  • We had a discussion on this same subject some time ago.

    At that stage it was professional players posting photos of themselves on FB having a ball in the wee hours of the morning.

    Then there was also some instances of players posting photos of themselves smoking shisha pipes.

    They have a responsibility to their followers, friends and MOSTLY fellow team mates to ensure they don’t portray the wrong image.

  • Comment 4, posted at 27.05.11 08:17:42 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 2) : Yip, it does seem cool. It was launched 2 weeks ago.

  • Comment 5, posted at 27.05.11 08:18:41 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • I would have loved to see PDivvy on twitter….I bet that would have been a laugh a minute.

  • Comment 6, posted at 27.05.11 08:19:58 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Yes – I “follow” a few sports players – not celebs but just sports players and you can understand why it is so powerful – if you have a million followers and you tweet about XYZ – it gets used as gospel – you see now in media now what the players have been tweeting about – so yes – it must be responsible – but I too think that they can say personal and humorous things on their – if its not controversial they too have a right to be who they want to be…

  • Comment 7, posted at 27.05.11 08:21:42 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @rekinek (Comment 3) : Also very true.

    I think if a player wants to promote himself on FB then he needs to promote himslef and keep his social life off of it. (maybe have a PRIVATE page for real friends and family)

    Ryan Kankowski is a great example of promoting himself on FB and not posting anything that could put him in a bad light. 😎

  • Comment 8, posted at 27.05.11 08:22:48 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @DarkDestroyer (Comment 7) : your new avatar is approved.

  • Comment 9, posted at 27.05.11 08:24:40 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 9) : … It don’t look like it? 🙁

  • Comment 10, posted at 27.05.11 08:25:45 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @DarkDestroyer (Comment 10) : press Ctrl+F5 at the same time.

  • Comment 11, posted at 27.05.11 08:27:52 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 11) : I did upload a new one, and then a new one again… Then saw my old one stretched… I am hurt and confused… (And now naked…)

  • Comment 12, posted at 27.05.11 08:32:17 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 11) : doesn’t work 😐

  • Comment 13, posted at 27.05.11 08:32:59 by rekinek Reply
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  • @DarkDestroyer (Comment 12) :
    @rekinek (Comment 13) :

    Works for me. 🙂

  • Comment 14, posted at 27.05.11 08:34:03 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 14) : now ! it works 😛

  • Comment 15, posted at 27.05.11 08:36:54 by rekinek Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 14) : See sir – it is my old one that is stretched – the avatar that appears on my profile page is me with my arms crossed – not me with my sabre… 🙁

  • Comment 16, posted at 27.05.11 08:40:21 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @DarkDestroyer (Comment 16) : If it’s the stretched one that is displayed then it is the cache that is still loading part of the old one. Just keep pressing CTRL and F5 at the same time.

  • Comment 17, posted at 27.05.11 08:42:58 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 11) : I AM BACK! THANK YOU SIR!

  • Comment 18, posted at 27.05.11 08:43:36 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 4) : and as a writer/commentator on these matters, it becomes very hard to write objectively about a player’s performances on the field when you see all the pics on Facebook of him going out drinking and smoking with his mates all the time.

    Bit of a fine line, because the player’s trust you enough to add you on Facebook that you probably shouldn’t breach that trust. That said… as professionals, they should know better. Perhaps management needs to agree a far stricter code of conduct with the players.

    I keep hearing these stories about “X is no longer rated because he’s considered a big drinker”…. if a player is going to be dropped for not being focused enough on rugby, then you should agree those rules with them up front, in writing and enforce it rigorously. Not fair to dump someone for doing something they didn’t realise was not allowed.

  • Comment 19, posted at 27.05.11 08:43:54 by robdylan Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 17) : I take a bow…. AND I AM NO LONGER HURT OR CONFUSED… Just powerful and awesome… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 20, posted at 27.05.11 08:44:27 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 19) : I don’t think it really even needs to be agreed upfront. it should be expected of them regardless.

  • Comment 21, posted at 27.05.11 08:45:36 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Send Lonwabo home, he clearly needs to complete his grammar and spelling schooling before he can be let loose on the world. 😉

  • Comment 22, posted at 27.05.11 08:45:40 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 21) : Agreed that there is a fine line, someone wants to go out somewhere and be “themselves” but once you become a public figure you have to realise that you are now “public property” and that your name and profile are your biggest assets…

  • Comment 23, posted at 27.05.11 08:48:29 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • Let me bookmark Teensport now.
    I was just thinking this morning that Sharksworld should try and get well informed individuals in all the provinces (thinking of Beet and PB here) to give weekly updates of what is happening on the schools front.

  • Comment 24, posted at 27.05.11 08:49:17 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Way too many morons on the planet. And all of them seem to have access to the internet. 😉 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 25, posted at 27.05.11 08:54:07 by McLovin Reply

  • I’m with Fergie in this one. Go read a book rather. 🙂

  • Comment 26, posted at 27.05.11 08:55:34 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 25) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 27, posted at 27.05.11 08:58:53 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @McLovin (Comment 26) : 😆 😈 – yes indeed…

  • Comment 28, posted at 27.05.11 08:59:35 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @Salmonoid (Comment 24) : Seems like a cool site. Have favourited them as well.

  • Comment 29, posted at 27.05.11 08:59:40 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • “I don’t understand it, to be honest with you. I don’t have the time to do it. There are a million things you can do with your life other than that. Go to a library and read a book. I’m serious. What a waste of time.”

    I agree with Sir Alex. I really dont understand the need for twitter. I am on FB, and even there I find most posts appallingly boring and unneccessary: “Just bought some 3-ply toilet paper *_*”

    Why are you telling people this??? Hit me back when you cure some disease or something.

    Same thing with twitter – I really dont care enough about anyone to want to know all their random thoughts. Case in point is Graham Smith’s gf twittering about his prowess in bed – does anybody care?

    @Salmonoid (Comment 22) :
    Agree. That was awful!

  • Comment 30, posted at 27.05.11 09:04:25 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @robdylan (Comment 19) : Look – there are almost two layers to it.

    One approach being to split your professional image and then the private one. So with this approach what you do afterhours – even if it’s partying heavily, smoking and drinking etc. you just do not let it out into public domain.

    Then the second one being you want the public and private image to be exactly the same ie. on all levels the guy is a decent, non-drinking, non-smoking, law – abiding citizen. This would be absolutely ideal, because if there is some dirt it will always come out. The problem with this is – if somebody is doing his job properly what is the justification to prohibit a person from having a moerse party during his time off for example.

  • Comment 31, posted at 27.05.11 09:06:50 by rekinek Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 29) : what about marking them under links 😉

  • Comment 32, posted at 27.05.11 09:08:47 by rekinek Reply
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  • Talking about this. I see Bismarck criticizing the format of Super Rugby unfair on an interview on news24.

  • Comment 33, posted at 27.05.11 09:41:12 by Mocho Reply

  • Talking about this. I see Bismarck criticizing the format of Super Rugby unfair on an interview on sports24.

  • Comment 34, posted at 27.05.11 09:41:31 by Mocho Reply

  • @Mocho (Comment 34) : Which portion does he believe to be unfair?

  • Comment 35, posted at 27.05.11 09:59:47 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Here’s another example of shocking social networking by roland Schoeman. The guy wasn’t even in the country for like Half his life choosing to train in America. I think he still does. I used to admire him before, but politics and sport should be Separated!

    “Wheres anc? RT @702JohnRobbie: Another policeman shot last night. 36 policemen have been killed since the start of the year. Not acceptable.”

  • Comment 36, posted at 27.05.11 10:00:28 by Mocho Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 35) : Says Aus teams have an easy ride with the Wors & Rebels in their conference.

  • Comment 37, posted at 27.05.11 10:01:47 by McLovin Reply

  • @Mocho (Comment 34) : Not just Bismarck. SA rugby apparently written to SANZAR about a few issues they not happy with.

  • Comment 38, posted at 27.05.11 10:02:59 by McLovin Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 35) : the fact that teams don’t play all opposition and that the New Zealand and South African sides have it harder than the Aussies.

  • Comment 39, posted at 27.05.11 10:04:02 by Mocho Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 37) : Say what you want about their recent performance, but we are sort of in the same boat with the Cheetahs and Lions. 😛

  • Comment 40, posted at 27.05.11 10:18:40 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @McLovin (Comment 38) : They should just write to Andy Marinos. In the letter they should tell him to start sending his CV out in search of a new job. 🙁

  • Comment 41, posted at 27.05.11 10:20:35 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 40) : Not according to the Bismarck. 🙂

    “That inequality in the tournament definitely needs attention because as things stand now, the playing field is definitely not level for all the teams,” said Du Plessis.

    “It’s much easier for a team like the Reds to play the Rebels and Force twice than it is for us to play in tough derby matches every week.

    The notion of an easy game simply doesn’t exist when you play against a South African team. It’s even a tough match against the Lions, even if their position on the points table is not good.

    “That is why I believe this tournament is not balanced. It’s so much easier for the Australian teams because in their derbies you don’t find the intensity of our derbies and those in New Zealand.”

  • Comment 42, posted at 27.05.11 10:20:50 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 42) : The difference is that the Force and Rebels don’t lift their games against local teams the way the Felines do. 😛

  • Comment 43, posted at 27.05.11 10:22:12 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @McLovin (Comment 42) : He’ll do well to remember that the rebels almost beat us 🙂

  • Comment 44, posted at 27.05.11 10:23:43 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Looks like it was WP who wrote the letter & not SARU.

  • Comment 45, posted at 27.05.11 10:24:43 by McLovin Reply

  • Some Kiwi said the Aus conference is like schoolboy rugby compared to NZ.

    Needles to say the dingos don’t agree. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 46, posted at 27.05.11 10:27:25 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 46) : dingos :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 47, posted at 27.05.11 10:29:00 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Conference v Conference so far:

    SA 7 wins v NZ 11 wins

    SA 9 wins v Aus 7 wins

    NZ 9 wins v Aus 5 wins

  • Comment 48, posted at 27.05.11 10:33:20 by McLovin Reply

  • The “problem” with social media for “celebrities” and sports stars is conversing with people you have never met, and are most likely never to meet.
    You just don’t know what, or who, you are dealing with. Social media removes the ability of people to assess your sincerity, your bona-fides and your intent (good or bad) so you are faced with a constant conundrum – do you have separate sites – one for actual friends and family and people you want to keep in touch with, and one for people you don’t know, or do you lump everyone together?
    Also, there is absolutely NO WAY to tell if the person you are “talking” to on some social media platforms (especially facebook) is actually who they say they are. There are far too many imposters out there, which leads to a lot of bad publicity and negative sentiment. 😯
    Another salient point, borne from experience, is the bitter legal wrangles that can ensue from misuse of social media. Especially when it comes to slander and crimen injuria.
    Social media puts thoughts and opinions out in a public forum, and once in a public forum the same rules apply as they do to the media in general, which means that you can’t just go shooting your mouth off about someone and expect to get away with it.
    The sad thing is that sports stars, celebrities, the rich and famous, etc, are all just human beings like you and I, and have off-days like you and I. And make mistakes like you and I. And like us, they are also entitled to some downtime, away from the “office,” and to being able to let their hair down once in a while.
    It’s a tough line to walk. And one which I don’t think will ever be clearly drawn in the sand. 🙁

  • Comment 49, posted at 27.05.11 11:32:44 by SharonvanWyk Reply
  • And like us, they are also entitled to some downtime, away from the “office,” and to being able to let their hair down once in a while.

    True. However, just like they wouldn’t want the media to broadcast their indiscretions THEY themsleves should not broadcast their own “indiscretions”

  • Comment 50, posted at 27.05.11 11:50:05 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @McLovin (Comment 48) :


    Aus are kak!!

  • Comment 51, posted at 27.05.11 11:51:18 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • Aside from the fact that I have no idea where people get the time to devote to it, the whole social media thing is making the luddite in me long for the days of print media only.

    At least then you had a degree of confidence in the competence and/or expertise of the people writing for the publication, and submissions by the public had to contribute sufficiently to debate (or just be so plainly misguided as to at least contribute some humour) to pass the editorial staff’s muster.

    Nowadays, everyone has the right- and platform to voice an opinion, but sadly often lack the ability to make that opinion even mildly interesting…

  • Comment 52, posted at 27.05.11 11:51:54 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • @Culling Song (Comment 52) :
    You and me both brother!

    “Celebs” who screw up because they carelessly mouthed off via social media deserve as much sympathy as those who make a drunken fool of themselves at the company end of year party.

  • Comment 53, posted at 27.05.11 12:21:41 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Culling Song (Comment 52) : Amen to that. @Big Fish (Comment 53) : And that! 😛

  • Comment 54, posted at 27.05.11 12:27:06 by SharonvanWyk Reply
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 50) : I agree completely. But then no-one made having a brain a prerequisite to the acquisition of celebrity status! 😆

  • Comment 55, posted at 27.05.11 12:28:30 by SharonvanWyk Reply
  • @SharonvanWyk (Comment 55) :see now u write big words nobody understand an now no-one whants to talk anymore 🙂

  • Comment 56, posted at 27.05.11 14:27:21 by franshark Reply
  • @franshark (Comment 56) : There aren’t any big words in there. 😛

  • Comment 57, posted at 27.05.11 14:42:42 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 57) : well some off that meduim size words is to big for this afrikaans boerie 🙂

  • Comment 58, posted at 27.05.11 15:06:30 by franshark Reply
  • Ok here’s my opinion about these technologies, tried to do fb but does not go down so well, I’m more on the phone than the pc and fb not the same on phone, twitter, now I like chatting but that takes reaction from both sides so celebs and sports personal not high on my list, like to follow sport commentary and news and christian cites. Have to say that twitter broad me to sharkworld, which I now am addicted to. Here I can chat to real(I hope) 🙂 people with similar interest.

  • Comment 59, posted at 27.05.11 15:16:11 by franshark Reply
  • @franshark (Comment 58) : when i’m at a loss I consult auntie google and this social unreliable wiki page :mrgreen:

  • Comment 60, posted at 27.05.11 15:17:30 by rekinek Reply
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  • @franshark (Comment 59) : i don’t think that the discussion is about whether social media are good or not (though there were some comments indicating that the writers may prefer books 😉 . It is more about how it can be used or misused rather 😉

  • Comment 61, posted at 27.05.11 15:19:39 by rekinek Reply
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