Does Social Media Help or Hurt Professional Athletes?

Social Media HelmetThe benefits and hindrances of players’ use of social media. Should teams ban use during the season?

Social media is an interesting beast, as the very act of engaging in its activities is playing with fire, although you can absolutely use it to your advantage or disadvantage. Well known professional athletes have a large platform which because of their fan base, which allows them to reach out to a massive amount of people in ways that were just not possible before. This has created a massive amount of problems for a lot of people and to be quite honest, it does cause a lot more harm than good, for the most part.

Every minute detail of a player’s life seems to be found online these days. Either through personal accounts, or posts by people seeing players out in public and in uncomfortable situations can lend valuable insight to individuals who like to bet on sports.

There are some intelligent people out there that have used social media to increase their cash flow and to promote themselves, which is great, but the majority of social media stories involving athletes center around feuds between each other, unhappy words for coaches and team mates and other combative things that lead to fines and penalties. Tons of athletes have even lost their jobs because of remarks that they have made on sites such as Twitter and the worst part about it is that they are usually made in the heat of the moment, without thinking about the consequences. The fact that any athlete can grab their cell phone at any minute and spout off any thought they have is a very dangerous thing and most teams now have formal meetings to discuss what players can and cannot say on social media.

On the other side of things, if a player wants to promote themselves, they can do it very effectively through social media. Developing a large platform and a big audience means these players have a direct influence on the general population, which makes them very appealing to various companies that offer endorsement deals. Those companies want someone who is at the top of their sport and out of public controversy, so those that can stay out of hot water and use social media effectively are at a huge advantage through the integration of these resources. It may be beneficial for everyone for social media to be banned during the season, but that is incredibly far fetched and unlikely to ever happen, due to the revenue sources that players derive from social media.