NFL Player’s Explosive Tweets Further Proof that Twitter Is Not A Friend To Pro Athletes

It seems like all of America saw the Green Bay Packers get ripped off on “Monday Night Football,” but for anyone who missed it, the Internet has your back. A Twitter post by Offensive Guard TJ Lang of the Packers has hit the stratosphere with an impressive 55,000 retweets in just 45 minutes.

The post, which reads: “Got fucked by the refs. Embarrassing. Thanks nfl.” is a major no-no in the National Football League, which severely reprimands and fines players for any negative comments made in public. Blasting the inefficiencies of referees on Twitter for all the world to see, certainly violates that “locked lips” policy. Lang seems fully aware of that fact though, as he followed up the tweet-heard-round-the-world with the following: “Fuck it NFL. Fine me and use the money to pay the regular refs.”

The “fucking” to which Lang refers, occurred when replacement refs, brought in as scabs to replace regular game officials during a contract lockout, ruled a Hail Mary pass that America saw as a clear cut interception by the Packers, as a Seattle Seahawks touchdown. Worse, it was a touchdown on the last play of the game that handed the game to the Seahawks. This is exactly the sort of scenario the NFL has been dreading, as it demonstrates the necessity of the regular referees.

Twitter has been an interesting bedfellow with professional athletes, who frequently choose to talk first and pay for it later. Earlier this year at the London Olympics, Grecian triple jumper Voula Papachristou was expelled for tweeting: “With so many Africans in Greece, the West Nile mosquitos will be getting home food!” Another Olympian, Swiss soccer player Michel Morganella was expelled for a tweet that labelled the rival Korean team as a “bunch of mongoloids.”

Such unfiltered access to athletes’ and celebrities’ minds and mouths has been one of the real benefits to Twitter, which has frequently struggled to find its place as a legitimate media forum. All the same, fans of athletics have debated whether such freedom on the part of the athlete is really such a valuable commodity when it reflects poorly on the team at large. TJ Lang, sticking to his guns, reflected that sentiment with his most recent tweet: “Only thing I regret from my tweets are the f bombs. Sorry bout that.”

Having watched that game myself, I have to say, “No, TJ, you got it right the first time.”   


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