There’s something about NFL coaches who work in Ohio and Twitter.
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis has banned his players from the social-media powerhouse after rookie cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick used the 140-character platform to blab about a knee injury. Now, Browns coach Pat Shurmur has expressed concerns about his players’ use of the technology.
As explained by Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and as supplemented by the full transcript of a Sunday press conference distributed by the team, Shurmur doesn’t like the fact that receiver Mohamed Massaquoi took to Twitter to contradict Shurmur’s claim that Massaquoui suffered a concussion on Friday night against the Lions.
Basically, Shurmur has politely invited Twitter to get off his lawn.
“You know how I feel about tweets and twitters number one,” Shurmur said. “I told you what happened [to Massaquoi] and that’s what happened so I don’t know. I only hear what gets tweeted, but he had a concussion and we’re treating it as so.”
Shurmur has a simple policy on tweets. “I don’t like them, that’s my policy,” Shurmur said. “I encourage them not to and I think it’s important that they don’t. I don’t think you can totally harness social media. I’ve come to that realization, but what I can do is encourage and inspire them to be very professional and not talk about Browns business. That’s just my feeling on it. That’s a big thing to harness, social media.”
Still, Shurmur won’t be copying the Cincinnati ban on Twitter. “No, I’m not going to sit here and pick a fight with Twitter,” Shurmur said. “I don’t want to do that because I want to deal with our guys as professionals. I want to deal with them as men and that’s part of society at this point, social media. I think it’s important that I encourage them and inspire them not to do it and if you ask me a question about what happened in the game and I tell you the process then that’s how it happened.”
That’s fine, but let’s not lose sight of what Twitter ultimately is. It’s a vehicle for people to say things. When Shurmur said that Massaquoi has a concussion and Massaquoi said that he doesn’t, it doesn’t matter whether Massaqoui said it on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or at a press conference or while verbalizing his complaints outside the Factory of Sadness. The player contradicted the coach; Twitter was merely the vehicle for the contradiction.