We’ve seen it over and over again in the social media world. People deciding to post stuff without thinking about the consequences beforehand.
Apparently, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown is not immune to these types of knee-jerk reactions.
In a since-deleted post on Twitter, Brown decided it made sense to threaten ESPN’s Jesse Washington.
— Sportsnaut (@Sportsnaut) September 13, 2018
This was in response to Washington’s article on ESPN’s The Undefeated that focused on Brown’s social media use. The article itself wasn’t unfriendly to Brown and included multiple posts from the NFL’s most-productive receiver.
Even then, it seems that Brown took exception to this. That’s fine. What’s not fine is threatening a member of the media on social media. At a time when the media itself has come under attack by the White House, this is no small matter.
Brown himself did offer an apology after deleting the tweet.
“I made a mistake in judgment with my tweet last week, and I apologize for that,” Brown said, via the Post-Gazette. “It is not OK to threaten anyone, and I need to be better spiritually and professionally. Though I do not agree with the negative parts of the story about my personal life, I need to have better control over my actions to use social media as a way to engage with my fans, rather than use it improperly.”
This should act as a cautionary tale. Nothing is ever deleted for good on Twitter. Screen grabs and the like will haunt those high-profile personalities who make mistakes. It’s the nature of the beast in the social media age.
For Brown, the hope is that he’s learned from this mistake.