6 Athletes Who Ruined Their Careers (or Came Close) on FB or Twitter
It is said that if you give a moron enough rope he’ll eventually hang himself. The same could be said about athletes and social media. It seems now that every week there is a new headline in the sports world about some dumb-ass athlete posting something racist, homophobic or just plain retarded on Facebook or Twitter. Here are six that topped them all.
Clay Matthews (Almost)
Usually, if an athlete creates a Facebook group called “White Nation” and adds a photo of a black baby in handcuffs with the caption, “Arrest black babies before they become criminals,” their career is finished. That’s what makes Clay Matthews the exception on this list. Somehow, despite doing exactly what I described above while playing at USC, he went on to a successful professional career in the NFL.
Luckily for Clay, his claim that it was all an “inside joke” was backed up by his teammates, specifically, a black teammate who had taken to calling Matthews and the other white players “White Nation.” The Facebook page was an outgrowth of the running joke between the two. While there’s nothing wrong with screwing around with your friends, even about controversial topics like racism, posting such things in public and completely without context is just asking for trouble.
A little over a year ago Larry Johnson was a starting NFL running back for the Kanas City Chiefs. Today he is out of work after being released by the Redskins in September of this year. Why? Poor play was part of it, but a poor choice of medium to express gay slurs were a bigger part. The other part was calling out his then head coach Todd Haley on his Twitter account and then getting into a back and forth with a heckling fan (never a good idea) whom he called out for having a “fag pic” on his Twitter page.
A few years ago Larry Johnson was the consensus #1 draft pick in any fantasy football league, and if you told him that in a few years he would get kicked off the Chiefs for “tweeting” he would have called you a faggot and said he would “never do no gay shit like tweeting, whatever that gay sounding sh*t is.” Unfortunately for him, Twitter was invented and he signed up. The rest, like his career, is history.
Who in the hell is Buck Burnette? Well, in 2008 he was the backup center for the Texas Longhorns. He also had a Facebook page. Things were going along okay. Then Barack Obama got elected and that’s when things went bad for him. See, ol’ Buck figured it would be a good idea to rally the troops and post the following:
“all the hunters gather up, we have a #$%&er in the whitehouse”
Let’s see… a six letter word that ends in “er” that if you found it in the White House you would need to shoot it. What could he have meant? A robber? Maybe, but security there is so tight, how would a robber ever get in? Perhaps he meant a tiger but thought it was spelled “tigger” due to his small town upbringing. Wait, no, due to his small town upbringing it was probably very close to tigger, but with an “n” instead. Well, that’s what Texas head coach Mack Brown thought, too, and kicked him off the team. Now Buck has plenty of time on his hands to gather up hunters for anything he pleases.
Are cheerleaders athletes? Well, for the purposes of this article, they are, because in 2008 the New England Patriots had an eighteen year-old cheerleader with a Facebook account, a Sharpie and a passed out dude covered in drawings of swastikas and cocks. In a series of photos that would make Lynndie England proud, Davis dove in for pose after pose beside the shirtless body of some passed out Boston College d-bag who couldn’t handle his liquor.
After finding out about this, the Patriots immediately kicked her off the squad. Davis was banished from the world of professional cheerleading and forced to resort to minor league gigs cheering flag football games in rural Mississippi for teams like the McComb Tri-Ks, Brookhaven Coon Hunters and the Jackson Hitlers. The good news is that she was very well received by the local community. The bad news is that she recently posted a picture of herself and an African American male on her Facebook page and now has a whole new set of problems on her hands.
Three-time Olympic gold medal winning Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice had this to say after South Africa’s rugby team was beaten by Australia:
Suck on that fag#$ts!
In Australia, I think that’s considered the epitome of ladylike behavior, but in the Jaguar corporate offices, it is grounds to sever ties and pull a sponsorship deal. Rice would later remove the tweet and apologize for the comment, but Jaguar still demanded the return of a loaned vehicle. While there do not seem to be many other sponsorship deals on the horizon for Rice, an offer from either Tootsie Pop or Popsicle brands cannot be considered out of the realm of possibilities.
Stevie Johnson (Honorable Mention)
Ruining your career on earth is one thing, and so far, Stevie Johnson has not done that. However, ruining your career in the afterlife is a whole other matter. If God is anywhere near as vengeful as he was in the Old Testament, Stevie is really going to regret his tweet (listed above)
The guy upstairs who almost had Abraham cut his son’s head off just to test his faith. Does this sound like a guy you want to call out on Twitter? It was nice of Stevie to cap his tweet with “THX THO…” in an effort to offer some form of penance before his 140 characters were up. Still, when judgment day comes and Stevie Johnson’s name is called, don’t be surprised if he is sentenced to an eternity of dropping game winning touchdowns with God narrating from above, “No, that’s how I do you!!!”