Expanded social media rules could make sense for both sides in next CBA

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Assuming that De Smith’s stated desire not to reconstitute the union comes from an effort to establish leverage, it’s safe to say that, eventually, there will be a Collective Bargaining Agreement.  When that happens, one term could be — and some would say should be — expanded rules regarding the use of social media.

Currently, the NFL regulates only the timing of posts on Twitter, Facebook, and similar applications, preventing players from posting during the window that extends from 90 minutes before a game begins until the post-game media availability has concluded.  Under the expired CBA, teams had the ability to impose fines for so-called “conduct detrimental to the team,” as the Chargers did with former San Diego cornerback Antonio Cromartie, after he complained on Twitter about the quality of the food at training camp.

Len Pasquarelli of TheSportsXchange.com raises the question of whether the NFL and the post-asterisked NFLPA would be able to agree on the terms of a social-medial policy aimed at protecting players and, in turn, protecting teams.  However, it seems a tad far-fetched to think that the league and the players, who currently can’t agree on the contents of the calendar, would ever devise a mutually beneficial list of dos and don’ts for the use of Twitter and Facebook and whatever their future equivalents will be.  Besides, the notion of win-win bargaining has transformed into a leverage game, with one side thinking not about how a proposal could help everyone but instead how an agreement on that point could be parlayed into a concession.

Thus, while it would make plenty of sense for the league and the players to develop a policy that would deter the men who play the game from saying stupid things on Twitter or Facebook, it’s a topic that would best be addressed long after the two sides have gotten past the point at which “smh” punctuates every communication between the two parties.

25 responses to “Expanded social media rules could make sense for both sides in next CBA

  1. I think they should ban any media that is blatantly pro union=total destruction of the league.

  2. I see alot of commenters around this site lambasting these players for their failure to “just keep their mouth shut and play.” Though, if the players did exactly that then we wouldn’t have such abundance of commentary ammo to unload on these loose-lipped fools.

  3. You want to make them available so the press can stick a microphone in their face in the locker room, why should you limit them to only this form of expression?

    Players ought to have the same right as anyone else to stick their foots in their collective mouths in any medium they prefer.

    If it wasn’t for twitter and Adrian Peterson, who would have known that NFL players were slaves or that Bin Laden was such a good guy thanks to Rashad Mendenhall?

    Nope, let’em talk with their thumbs as it’s the farthest point from the head and the “wait” signals are slow to arrive and much more entertaining.

  4. There is only one thing that matters right now. When the court rules to keep the lockout going. The players either call off de smith and return to the table with a counter offer (hell they can be far apart) but start the process of bringing football back on a mutual agreement!! Or they screw the fans and team employees and keep on fighting for leverage they will not get and cost the NFL a season. Please make it option #1 and quit the court room nonsense that can only take place by pretending your not a union!!!

  5. They can’t even agree to get together and meet. How the heck would they agree to this? P.S. Warren Sapp is angry because you didn’t mention him in this article.

  6. There is only one thing that matters right now. When the court rules to keep the lockout going. The players either call off de smith and return to the table with a counter offer (hell they can be far apart) but start the process of bringing football back on a mutual agreement!! Or they blow off the fans and team employees and keep on fighting for leverage they will not get and cost the NFL a season. Please make it option #1 and quit the court room nonsense that can only take place by pretending your not a union!!!

  7. philwauke says:
    May 30, 2011 4:54 PM

    P.S. Warren Sapp is angry because you didn’t mention him in this article.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    That’s a cheap shot……Sapp was good at those!

  8. Rules on twitter would make no sense for NFL players. Twitter is a source of additional endorsement revenue- why would players want to close off that avenue? And the controversial tweets actually help them gain name recognition. Example- ochocinco.

    If anything- more players will attempt to utilize social media in the future- I think players could make much more money than they currently do if they used it correctly.

  9. As long as the individual tweeting is not “on the clock,” might be hard to win a first amendment lawsuit, even if agreed to by both union and management. “On the clock” would however, be a different matter…..lol….United States of America usually starts outside the boundaries of private property. As my Dad used to say, “Democracy starts out in the street, this house is a dictatorship. If you want democracy, fo live there.” Scary thought when I was a teenager.

  10. smh = “shakes my head”

    i.e., “it’s always something (stupid)”

    Example: “Can’t we all just get along? smh”

  11. Here’s a possible rule they could go by;
    Don’t tweet and keep us guessing as to your level of your stupidity or Tweet and remove all doubt – your choice.

  12. Social media is not kind to professional athletes. Never has been…never will be. One man’s opinion: athletes are not equipped to deal with it but to legislate it out of the game is not a rational approach. If athletes want to tweet their way out of great careers and fabulous wealth, that’s their business. It’s gonna happen!

  13. let the players say what they want and what they think it’s their right as citizens and if they say something people don’t agree with then oh well.

  14. Is anything of redeeming social value or indicative of great intellect ever tweeted by anyone?

  15. It’s common corporate policy for organizations to set rules regarding what associates say to the public. The idea is to control the message for the sake of positive public relations. But leave policies about whether players should Twitter to individual teams rather than negotiating them into the CBA. The last thing the league needs is another reason to bicker and hold up an agreement.

  16. I always thought “Smh” was “smack my head” as in “Facepalm”…I learn something new every day. Whether it’s useful or not is another matter.

    I agree that this should be left up to individual teams to make policy on. I mean the Eagles fired that dude who worked for them who complained on Facebook about their letting Brian Dawkins walk. I don’t think all teams should be required to handle this type of thing the same way.

    Just this past weekend one of the Pats players was going on and on cussing etc on Twitter and refusing to take responsibility for not acting a fool despite several Pats fans pleas, and talking, I think, about being in one of “those” clubs. Of all people, Brandon Meriweather was trying to get him to chill with that talk. There was a small article on it on one of the Pats non official websites. My response” “smh”.

  17. using facebook or twitter is asking for embarrassment, identity theft, and a bunch of other things, practically none of them good…. especially for public figures…. they shouldn’t be taking the risks at all, but their overblown egos will make them do it.

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