A couple of local sports figures have gotten in trouble over the last couple of days for sending out poorly worded tweets related to the current nationwide protests over police use of excessive force. It is another cautionary tale about modern America’s obsession with sharing every stray thought on social media, as well as the nation’s toxic, polarized politics.
Former Seattle Sounders coach Alan Hinton somehow felt the need to reminisce on Twitter about his interactions with Black players way back in his English football days, a tweet that was so odd and confusing that it was too easily read in negative ways. It would not have been a big deal, except for the fact that Hinton is a “brand ambassador” for the Sounders – he was, that is, until they fired him because team management decided the tweet reflected badly on their organization.
Then, University of Washington Women’s Basketball Coach Jody Wynn ended up apologizing for a heartfelt statement she put out on social media in which she used two phrases that caused upset – “all lives matter” and “I see no color.” Now, in some circles, those two phrases would seem commendable, but in the hot-house environment of a college campus, they proved to be problematic for several valid reasons.
Hinton and Wynn are both fine human beings, but they waded into a volatile, racially charged crisis without thinking about how their words would be received, something that is too easy to do now that technology allows us to indulge the impulse to instantly broadcast our thoughts to the world.
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