Pro teams and Twitter: Oops!

 

First, it was the athletes.

Now it’s the employees.

It’s common knowledge that Twitter in the hands of a celebrities and athlete is a dangerous thing. I won’t even start to name the embarrassing things they have tweeted.

But now it has moved over to the business side of sports.

On Dec. 27, someone using the Jazz Twitter account posted this comment after Brooklyn fired coach Avery Johnson: “#PhilJackson won’t go to Brooklyn. He’ll only go somewhere he can win a title. Not interested in good players. He wants great players.”

The following day the Jazz issued this release:

“Yesterday, a member of the Utah Jazz staff posted an inappropriate Tweet to the official Jazz account. This employee no longer has login access to the Jazz Twitter account and further disciplinary action is being taken internally.

“The Jazz does not comment on other NBA teams transactions and furthermore, does not condone any negative comments about any players, coaches, or front office staff throughout the league. It is simply unprofessional and unacceptable.”

In a similar situation, DallasCowboys.com writer Josh Ellis recently posted on Twitter that it’s just six weeks until baseball players start reporting for spring training, and someone else using the Cowboys’ Twitter account fired back: “Similarly in the category of nobody-cares…the NHL is back!”

That elicited a quick apology from the team.

Also, the Cincinnati Bengals’ Twitter account did some small-time trash-talking on the Houston Texans recently.

Team staffers, it appears,  are starting to generate their own controversy — something PR people are hired to avoid. So while teams nowadays have the luxury of responding to stories/postings with their own take, via social media, there is also the danger of getting embarrassed.

If I were the teams, I’d tell staffers to stick to selling tickets and doing traditional promotions, rather than making pithy comments to generate traffic on Twitter.

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