The Civilized Minute

a minute of manners and musings

chad ochocinco

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver, Chad Ochocinco, has been fined $25,000 for tweeting during a game.  The NFL has a policy that prohibits players from posting anything on social media sites up to 90 minutes before kickoff and after post-game media interviews. So, Ochocinco broke the rule and now he’s paying the price.  Literally.

Not surprisingly, the Bengal’s player had a comment about all this. Here is what he tweeted after he was notified of the fine:

“Dear NFL I apologize for tweeting during the game but that was 2 months of my Bugatti payments you just took from me,I won’t do it again”

Today, he posted another tweet to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell:

@nflcommish Dad again I apologize 2 you for my tweet,as my father I understand you’ve to discipline,can we try timeout next time please 🙂

It’s situations just like this that make it hard to view professional athletes as true leaders or role models for ourselves and (certainly not) for our children. My son is 9 years old and is playing little league football.  Is this someone whose behavior I would like him to emulate? Um…no.

Ochocinco’s tweeting habits are bad on so many levels, but I’ll just mention the hottest buttons:

  • He is tweeting on the job. Who doesn’t get dinged for tweeting on the job? No one.
  • How did he even get his phone on the field? Considering all the hype that goes on as the players run onto the field, I don’t even want to think about where he had that phone stashed so it wouldn’t fall out onto the grass.
  • Whining about his Bugatti payments? Seriously? Let us hear something about a mortgage payment or a school loan and the average Joe might care.
  • Taking his work problem online is inappropriate, at best. Google “Facebook Fired” and you’ll meet all sorts of people who took their problem to the masses and lost their job over it.
  • Tweeting his boss a message about a work issue is juvenile. I’m sure Roger Goodell was thrilled to see that dirty laundry show up in his stream. I would be interested to know if he really apologized…you know, the look-you-in-the-eye kind of apology you learn as a kid.

Playing professional football means Ochocinco is employed by the National Football League.  He has a job.  It’s showy, but it’s still his j.o.b. So, he is expected to play by certain rules (pardon the pun). Obviously, the League has certain expectations regarding on-the-job behavior. For some players, even their off-the-job behavior is of interest to the League.

It’s interesting to me to consider why some professional athletes view the world (the literal and online worlds) as their stage from which any antics that come to mind are expected be accepted and applauded. Sure, it makes for good TV and late-night reading. But, what else?

Really…What else?



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