Our friend Royce Young at Daily Thunder wrote a great post yesterday about Twitter usage and how it has impacted the NBA and the Thunder. I encourage you to take a look, because he gets some great insight from a few players.
We all know that social media has become a bit of a necessary evil when it comes to the reporting on and following of our favorite sports. It is the de facto way that big news stories are broken now, and whenever something interesting happens in-game, Twitter is the best way to find out about it.
However, as we're also all aware, the anonymity of Twitter leads to a dark underbelly, which Young gets into the trenches to excavate. If you want to see some of the filth that comes out against players, take a look at some of the tweets he grabbed.
In response Kevin Durant said:
"People don’t really know how much words can really hurt sometimes, no matter who you are," KD told me. "NBA players, lawyers, doctors — words hurt. They cut deep. I think people on Twitter specifically really don’t know because they’re behind they’re computer, you know what I mean?"
While Kendrick Perkins added:
"Sometimes I respond. I shouldn’t, but sometimes I do. I had to respond to one dude who was like — I posted a picture of my kids — and he was like ‘your kids are ugly’ and I’m like what and he’s like ‘I hope your kids die tomorrow.’ So I followed him and I DM’d him. I didn’t say nothing crazy but I was like come on man, you want my kids to die? Sometimes it gets outrageous, but I guess it’s just part of life. But a dude get out of hand it makes you sometimes want to shut off your Twitter."
While the only platform on which I can preach is a virtual one, I think the message is plain. I don't know about you, but to me, the protection of the dignity of the individual, no matter what part of life they may fall in, is one of the most sacred things that we can value as a free society. Our natural liberties such as freedom of speech flow out of that individual dignity, but the dignity and value by which we hold others has to come first. We consider such freedoms as natural rights because we uphold an individual's value, prima facie.
We can do better than this.