Handing professional athletes the reins to social media can be like handing a child a grenade. The misuse of Facebook, Instagram and especially Twitter have led to suspensions, public backlash and even a few social media bans from coaches. But it isn’t just controversy that makes athletes and Twitter a poor match. Some athletes are just flat-out bad at the medium. Whether it’s boring timelines, political incorrectness or incomprehensible retweets, here are seven athletes whose Twitter game definitely needs work.
Shaquille O’Neal (@Shaq)
Shaq may have dominated on the court, but his grasp of Twitter (as well his grasp of NBA analysis) is on par with your 90-year-old grandmother’s. The Big Aristotle’s timeline is riddled with random letter capitalization, self promotion, and analysis you might find dribbling out of a three-year-old’s mouth during a SpongeBob cartoon. Here was Shaq’s tweet after Mike Brown got fired by the Lakers earlier this season:
A quick reminder that Shaq is currently employed as an NBA analyst on TNT. Also, the more unnecessary letters you add to a word, the more important it is, according to the Gospel of Shaq.
His keen sports insights don’t stop with the NBA though. Here was his reaction to Texas A&M’s upset victory over Alabama in college football a few weeks back:
Keep doing you, Shaq. Complete sentences? Who needs ’em? And get off his case guys, he knows how to spell Texas A&M. Just not much else.
Johnson has had issues with Twitter before, mainly when he decided to lash out at fans during his 2010 training camp holdout. The running back’s Twitter account is curious for other reasons though, such as his interesting retweet choices. Like when he responded to a waitress sarcastically thanking him for leaving her a $6 tip after apparently receiving free drinks all night.
There is no shame in Chris Johnson’s game. If he wants to belittle a waitress and let the world know he’s a cheapskate at the same time, he’ll do it. When you run for over 2,000 yards in a season, you do what you want. It’s in the Constitution. He even threw in a solid use of “lmfao,” so at least he understands how to properly use internet lingo. Stay classy, Chris.
Former Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen’s grip on the English language has always been tenuous at best. He loves to swear, but his sentences are not always, shall we say, complete. Nevertheless, Guillen has been a walking soundbite for years, with some of his outlandish quotes landing him in hot water. Now take Guillen’s best broken English rant, multiply it by ten, and you have his Twitter account. There are almost too many “gems” to post here, but we’ve rounded up some of the best.
Ozzie likes to pack a lot of thoughts into one tweet:
Clearly, Ozzie respects people’s opinions, he just doesn’t want to hear people’s opinions. But it’s no problem either way. And good for that kid Adam, whoever he is. He seems swell.
Other times, Ozzie is riled up, like when he “mistakenly” caught an episode of “Real Housewives of Miami.”
He followed that up with this:
You tell ’em Ozzie. A real woman stays at home and cooks and cleans, because apparently it’s still the 1950s.
And finally, sometimes Ozzie just wants to talk to Chad.
There is no context for this tweet. It just is, and it’s glorious. We could ask questions, like “who is Chad?” Better just to let it go.
As bad as it is, it’s almost impossible to take your eyes off Jose Canseco’s timeline due to sheer wonderment. Known famously for juicing his body on steroids, then blowing the whistle on dozens of other athletes who were juicing, Canseco tweets like he’s still on some illegal substance. Some of his tweets read like they were written by a caveman, and his tendecy to address his followers as “haters” is sheer hilarity. But on to the tweets themselves. Here’s Canseco teaching us how to keep the aliens from taking over:
Now here’s Canseco trying to figure out time travel so he can win the lottery:
And finally, here is Canseco considering alternate employment:
Maybe you should have, Jose. Or maybe you should have been a time-traveling alien fighter. Whatever you end up choosing, your Twitter feed is the weirdest thing we’ve ever seen.
Rob Gron is a “bro” in every sense of the word, and his Twitter feed reflects that. Here is the Patriots tight end, stoked that his power came back on so he could resume playing video games
POWER BACK ON! ME PLAY MORE XBOX NOW! HAVE PROTEIN SHAKE LATER TIME! Also, here is Gronk releasing an older photo of himself and his brother partying with some astute sorority girls back in college, because that is exactly the type of photo athletes should have floating around on the internet.
Don’t ever stop being brotacular, Gronk.
As an athlete, retweeting fans can be a great way to to build rapport with the community around your team. A retweet or a timely response can make a fan’s day. Unfortunately, Denver Nuggets forward JaVale McGee goes a bit overboard. His entire timeline is one big retweet-fest. You could scroll for hours and never find anything personal from McGee. When the eccentric hoopster does tweet, he’s usually retweeting himself, because, as his bio says, he can. There are only so many times we can read a fan saying “OMG JAVALE IF YOU TWEETED ME IT WOULD TOTES MAKE MY DAY! LOOK, I PUT MY DOG IN YOUR JERSEY! HE HATES IT BUT HE LOOKS SO ADORABLE! I’LL NEVER LET HIM TAKE IT OFF!”
On the court, Chris Kaman is a quiet, unassuming big man with an array of smooth post moves and a knack for rebounding. Off the court, Kaman is apparently a silent animal assassin with a deep hatred of pigs. When he isn’t posting generic tweets about Dallas Mavericks games (“Game Day! Who’s going tonight? #Mavs”), Kaman is posting weird hunting photos, as if any time not spent on the court is dedicated to strolling the barren lands of Texas searching for critters. For instance, here is a tweet Kaman wrote mocking PETA as he attaches a photo of himself holding a turkey he bagged:
Oh, but Kaman’s hunting garble doesn’t stop at turkeys. Oh no. Kaman is on a mission to rid the world of all those useless pigs.
“Hey guys, just shot a bunch of pigs. It was great. Can’t wait to play basketball tomorrow!” Kaman must’ve hated Charlotte’s Web as a child.
But what’s actually somewhat terrifying about the Mavericks center is his ability to construct shooting hideouts for himself with the skill of a wily war veteran. Which begs the question, how old is Chris Kaman, really? Was he sent here by the government under the guise of a really good basketball player? And does he spend each moment he’s not on the court hiding in an elaborate hay fort waiting for a pig to stroll across the road? We may never know. What we do know is that maybe, as a professional athlete, he shouldn’t be posting so many photos of himrself with guns and dead animals, even if it is his hobby. Just a thought, Chris.