Social Enterprise

Olympic athletes: Stop tweeting

From recent events, it seems some Olympic athletes are the last to know about the dangers of tweeting out of hand.

I know the folks who make it to the Olympics are elite athletes, the best of their respective nations, but holy smokes do they have a lot to learn about the power of technology, specifically social media.

My note to these extraordinary women and men: I understand that the training regimen is brutal and all-consuming, but for the love of God, read a newspaper now and then. On any given day, you're likely to see a piece about an employee who's gotten fired over a stupid tweet. There could actually be a regular feature in any number media outlets that could contain only apologies from high-profile people for stupid stuff they've said on Twitter or Facebook. So far, we have:

  • Michel Morganella-The Swiss soccer player booted from the Olympics for racially offensive tweet about South Koreans.
  • Voula Papachristou-The triple-jumper from Greece expelled due to racist comments about competitors from Africa.
  • Hope Solo-The American soccer player who tweeted negatively about former Olympic soccer player Brandi Chastain...who is also the NBC commentator for this year's event.

If you're not willing to change your racist and bitter personalities, then at the very least stop advertising it. If you're going to tweet about an event as significant as the Olympics, talk about the unique experience, not your competitors.


Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.


Who is going around checking everyones twitter? What if you were a racist but now your not, can a year old tweet still get you kicked out.


It has been somewhat surprising to see these athletes naively put feet in their mouths versus on the field. Here is good advice for anyone making public statements in a quote from a famous first lady: "Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt


Many poeple ask why are the football crowds at the Olympics so poor?. Rather than being regarded as role models they misunderstand what it means. Toilet rolls is what the men are. The girls are now catching the true image of the sports person.

tarose.trevor 2 Like

...hang on... if 2 out of your 3 examples are racism, and the other one is an example of utter bitchiness... then the problem isn't that they are tweeting, the problem is that they are immature & prejudiced people... stopping tweeting won't solve the problem, it just means no one will know about it. How is that a solution?

Robiisan 7 Like

The one that goes something like this: "Wealth doesn't make you a better or worse person, it only gives you the means to adequately display whichever you have been all along." Well, the same thing applies to social media. Those who make such comments are simply being given (or taking advantage of) an opportunity to show off who they really are inside. What makes it worse is that they don't seem to recognize several important aspect of their particular situation and some attributes of social media that apply to everyone: 1. The source is way too easy to trace. If you can't say it on stage in the Olympic stadium, don't tweet it! 2. Due to the nature of their status and position, everyone, their brothers and sisters, and their dogs are watching them. What makes them think (or not think) they can get away with something inappropriate? Hubris? Megalomania? Terminal rectalcraniumitis? 3. Unless they don't mind the world looking at them under a microscope, they should stay out of social media altogether. I know, I know, it's the "in" thing now to have the largest following. So with that many people examining their every post, you'd think these (otherwise) professional people would know to keep anything available to the public (or those who monitor their behavior for a reason) completely professional as well. Alas, not so. There ain't no cure for stupid!

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