From Nazi Salutes to posting pictures of a car from your pocket, social media is a very dangerous area for football players to be in.
Leicester midfielder Hamza Choudhury was recently made to apologise for racist and sexist tweets he posted whilst being 15 years of age.
Personally, I completely agree with the charge from the FA, which was misconduct, but should we really be punishing footballers for what they say when they’re children?
Society changes very fast and people now grow up learning to be more accepting of other cultures, especially with the light being shone on mental health like it never has before.
I’m sure we have all said stupid things in our childhoods but is social media the key to this?
Is it too easy to go back in the archives and ruin another players career?
In no way am I condoning Choudhury’s words, but it is silly to punish people’s old opinions, when hopefully, they no longer feel that way.
Choudhury had this to say on his old tweets and the charge afterwards:
“They do not represent my true beliefs”.
“I’ve learned a lot as a person in my early years as a professional – certainly enough to know that some of the thoughtless comments I have made in the past are both hurtful and offensive.
Claiming ignorance for doing an obvious Nazi salute at the camera was enough for Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey to escape an FA charge.
Now, who doesn’t know what a Nazi salute is?
I’m sure everyone who attended secondary school and featured in history class recognises that salute, making it very odd for a 32-year old man to be totally unaware. I am sure he does.
Max Meyer posted this picture on Instagram in which you can see the Welshman doing the Nazi salute.
No charge by the FA.
Andre Gray is another to feel the wrath of the past as he was charged by the FA over homophobic tweets posted in 2012.
He responded in the typical apologetic fashion, but this is what the player tweeted: “Is it me or are there gays everywhere? #Burn #Die #Makesmesick.”
Obviously, you don’t need me to explain how vulgar these tweets are, but should we allow players to manage their social media profiles?
I would much rather a player had a media company behind them doing bland, PC tweets, than tweet such horrific things in the past.
Social media has also had it’s good moments when it has come to footballers using it, such as Raheem Sterling’s nose pinching antics and maybe, despite backlash, Lingard and Pogba’s dancing.
(Manchester Evening News)
To conclude, I think that players should be allowed social media accounts, but not to tweet what they want. These players should be made to start afresh as soon as they become pro’s, making sure that they aren’t tied with their outdated opinions.