A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Opinion: Sports and Social Media

Nowadays you know that your favorite athlete wakes up at 6:00 AM every morning, what he eats, whom he calls, and more. Basketball players are now beefing on Twitter over who shoots better but won’t say a word to each other during the 48 minutes they see one another on the court. You often find retired players calling this generation “soft and weak,” which has some truth to it. Two weeks ago Kevin Durant was caught using a different Twitter account to try to bash the Oklahoma City Thunder, an organization he represented for nine years. When something embarrassing happens during the midst of a game you can find it on Instagram and Twitter in less than three minutes. The world we live in completely revolves around social media outlets.

The Ball Family are people who were basically brought up through social media. The youngest son, LaMelo, is arguably the most famous 16-year-old on the planet. Back in 2003 you didn’t see your favorite athlete and his family have their own reality show before they became professional athletes. You have to ask yourself, “How different would it be if social media wasn’t always in the back of these players mind?”

At times social media can make a positive impact, creating things you can smile about, but other times that’s not the case. Even professional athletes often complain about how social media can make them look a certain way based on what they say or believe in. People now have jobs to twist up the words of an athlete so it can start controversy and leads to things happening that they cannot control. What people don’t think about is how it can affect more than one person when you decide to twist somebody’s words just to create buzz. Most of the time you can find social media having a positive impact on athletes and people. They can spread the word about certain events and charities in the blink of an eye.

The most annoying thing about social media, however, is how athletes get followed around 24/7. In the “Ball in the Family” reality show, with cameras now following them everywhere, we know almost everything they do. You have to wonder if the youngest brother LaMelo is acting out and being different just because cameras are now filming in their home. Recently he was just pulled out of Chino Hills High School so his father can homeschool him. His popularity caused his father to have problems with the former coach because of how he wants his son to play and be treated. Social media has given teenagers an invisible crown that makes them think they’re untouchable.