January 6th, 2011

‘Baller Opinions: To Tweet Or Not To Tweet? – UPDATED

UPDATE: It appears another ‘baller bites the dust due to twitter abuse.

Marvin Morgan, who plays for League Two’s Aldershot Town has been suspended and placed on the transfer market after being booed off the pitch on Monday after his team’s 2:1 defeat to Hereford Town.

After the match he took to Twitter and told fans;

‘Like to thank the fans who booed me off the pitch. Where’s that going to get you! I hope you all die.’

A class act indeed.


During 2010 we at Kickette have frequently extolled the virtues of our fave ‘ballers on social networking sites again and again. But a serious question has reared its ugly head over the Xmas period, one that made us lift our hungover brows up from our cashmere covered cushions and actually do some thinking (urgh).

Should footballers on social network sites such as Twitter and Facebook echo a Spiderman-like ethos i.e. “With great power comes great responsibility” or should they be free to express their opinions on whatever the bleedin’ heck they want?

Take Wojciech Szczęsny (Arsenal’s #2 shot-stopper) for example. Woj (to his friends, heh) recently posted a series of somewhat contentious tweets regarding the recent West Brom – Man Utd game. He tweeted:

“How can you not get frustrated with decitions (sic) like that going ALWAYS Man Utds way?! Its a clear pen and sending off!”

Teammate Cesc Fabregas also raised similar questions on the after the recent Arsenal game against Wigan, where Wigan’s James McCarthy seemingly handballed on a Samir Nasri free-kick. He stated:

“Whats the diference between this handball & my 1 vs spurs? Referees dont want us to complain abt them but they make life difficult 4 themself”

While most people would agree that it’s fairly innocuous for a player to argue that they should have had a penalty or state their opinion on a sending off, raising the issue of referee favouritism and questioning the decision-making process in this way is a whole other story. (Especially as Newcastle United’s Jose Enrique recently got his wrists slapped for tweeting about his exclusion from the Newcastle United team sheet.)

So this begs the question;  is it OK for footballers to call into question sensitive footballing topics, or should they stick to less inflammatory comments? Szczęsny himself had this to say on the subject:

I find it weird that people tell me I shoudn’t share my thoughts about football on twitter just because I’m a footballer. If someone doesn’t want to know what I think about football then go and follow Katie Price. I write to true Arsenal supporters

Do you think a little footy opinion – agreeable or disagreeable – is a good thing, or do you think that a modicum of censorship for those in studs is a good thing?

We’d love to hear what you think – but be forewarned: saying anything insane about a rival club will garner you a red card straight off the comments board.

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49 Responses to “‘Baller Opinions: To Tweet Or Not To Tweet? – UPDATED”

  1. KellyEnrique says:

    I love them having twitter.. its nice to hear about what they doing in their free time why should it be a problem? they are human afterall

  2. Roo says:

    I want Nando on Twitter.

  3. JT033 says:

    I agree with a lot of the comments saying that twitter is for people (regardless of who they are) to talk about their lives and what they feel and think… but to say "i hope you die"….uhmmm….that's not really a form of appropriate self-expression regardless of your public status. When a comment like that is thrown around, it becomes a question of human decency and learning how to filter your emotions so you can learn to say more logically what's going on… and also to seem less like a psychopath.

  4. Susana says:

    I don't mind them giving an occasional recap of the match, but is it really necessary? We all saw the match. If they lost, well of COURSE they are upset. The obligatory "well it wasn't a great match but back to training so we can do better next week" tweets just seems like #duh.
    I think the clubs are probably nervous about this situation. If a player says something to up the stakes for an impending match, I can see the rival club posting it in the dressing room. No sense in giving the other team #addedincentive

    Saying you want the fans to die is #redcard.

    But reading @rioferdy5 talking about his "lil men" running around the garden in Black Cats kits his brother bought them for Christmas… #hilarious

  5. Anon says:

    Perhaps saying that he hopes the booers will die is a bit much, but otherwise, opinions on Twitter should never be censored. Outbursts are fun. If the footballers had something in their contracts or whateves limiting what they can or cannot say on Twitter, what's the point? It's their opinion. Where would we be without Babel's story time? Or the senseless ooooooooooohhhhhh's and moc's of Cesc, Geri and Puyi? I get why they shouldn't post stuff regarding the teamsheet or whether or not they start, as it's the club's information to disclose. But I don't see why, if a fan is allowed to complain about ref decisions, THEY're not allowed to.

  6. Homeskillet07 says:

    i think footballers can say whatever they want on their twitter accounts. it's not like we don't go and say what we want on social networks. what they do for a living doesn't take away from the fact that they're still human. Marvin Morgan's statement obviously wasn't the nicest thing to say but i've never been booed out from a pitch, it can't be nice. i'd say the same thing. i mean, how many times do people use the acronym "DIAF" (die in a fire" without really meaning it. it's no different.
    p.s. if you dont want death wished upon you, dont boo someone off a field ;P (i kid)

  7. Pique_Xavi says:

    In my opinion if you want to be respected you have to respect those around you. People often say things in the heat of the moment even type things that sometimes you can regret but once written its harder to take back. I truly do hate people booing athletes because they have no idea what can go on in their minds and I'm sure no athlete wants to fail even if many times its not even to please fans… If the people want their athlete and club they have to respect them even when they are going through rough times, making you a fan and buying tickets doesn't give you the right to boo someone and make them even more miserable. I however don't agree with "i hope you die" comment at all. Too much bullying and disrespecting from everyone involved. I don't think either a club should control what players do with their free time or personal life unless it involves high risk things that in the end could hurt everyone. Like the great Pep said, at home the player has the choice of doing what they want… as long as it does't take place within the compound of the club. Responsibility is the only key thing here.

  8. gi0ia says:

    re Marvin Morgan: I`d normally *rofl* at something like that, but the shock is too deep! How unprofessional is that? From a grown-up man!? *cringe* He`ll be lucky if he`ll have any fans left after that…

  9. Crackers says:

    If one of our boys wants to express an opinion, it's not fair to expect them to behave like they're perfect just because they play football.

    I mean, if they can swear on the pitch, why can't they mouth off on twitter?

  10. Violets says:

    I personally love reading athletes' twitters. I think that most of them are pretty good about respecting boundaries between personal opinion and offending someone/being unprofessional, although there are obviously some exceptions. They walk a fine line between what is professional and personal (people are interested in them BECAUSE of their very public jobs), so I can see where it could get a bit confusing about what is appropriate. However, I admit to loving reading what they have to say (although I wish a few would run things through spell and grammar check first).

    I don't know if any of you are following the Bolton boys (Stu, Klasnic, Kevin, and Matty Taylor all have accounts) on Twitter, but if you're not, you definitely should. They're absolutely hilarious–they basically just make fun of one another. The closest any of them has come to criticizing a player or a game was when Stu commented on Nigel de Jong's horrific foul on Xabi Alonso in the WC, and really, considering the same guy broke his leg, who can blame him? I also love how Arsenal is completely taking over twitter, and Jack Wilshere is pretty adorable on it (although honey, you don't have to post THAT many pictures of yourself….we know what you look like =] ).

  11. Leya_S says:

    "[Thanks] for booing me off the pitch. Where's that going to get you? I hope you all die."

    I mean, yes, that's rude, and definitely unclassy, but….
    Sorry, I really burst out laughing when I read "I hope you all die." It's really inappropriate, but I didn't expect it, so it just caught me off guard with its sheer hilarity.

    • Jules says:

      I will join you in admitting that I laughed when I read it. When I read that someone got placed on the transfer list for something they Tweeted, I knew I had to read it. After reading the first two sentences, I thought “Okay, so he’s a whinger but that’s not bad.” Then I read the last sentence and doubled over with laughter because he left the line way back there.

    • gi0ia says:

      Agree! Just wrote something very similar – I`d burst out laughing, too, if the shock wasn`t so… shocking…

    • C16 says:

      I know right! What are you? 12? Go back to highschool!!!!

  12. barbieuy says:

    There are opinions that need to be kept in and there are others that you can freely say… saying that a decision should have gone your way is ok… there's nothing wrong with that whether you're wrong or right…. we are all biased in some way… of course they'd always want the benefits on their side…there is nothing you can do about it anyway but just whine and bring yourself down.. that's the players choice.. insulting referees would be one of those things a player should keep to himself… but most especially comments like that to the FANS. Is that guy crazy???!?!? He made it easy to put a target on his head… and not the good kind of target… besides, is there a match where no one gets booed? i mean really…. even youth teams get booed by its opponents…. that was downright smug of him to say that….

  13. I also think people need to remember that footballers are PEOPLE just like you and me-they eat, they crap, they swear. But when you see them on billboards or on adverts, people seem to forget and think 'wow, he's amazing, he can do no wrong!' This is why when they say/do bad things, people are so shocked. The have such a clean cut image (the majority anyway) and we don't really know the side of them off the pitch, hence why they have twitter. What Marvin tweeted wasn't very nice, but he was angry and frustrated, which is understandable. I myself would feel mortified If I ever said/tweeted that to anyone! He should have left out the 'I hope you all die.'

  14. OMG Babel's tweets are so stupid sometimes. I'm a Liverpool supporter but unfollowed him because I got tired of him flooding my timeline with his "stories" The other day he was telling a story about a journalist who called him to ask for a comment, and then he went on and on about how stupid the journalist was.
    I feel bad for unfollowing a Red but he bores me.

  15. ashmenon says:

    Ferdy's a classic example of how you can be completely shameless, and as long as you're generally the type of person who has nice things to say (or if the worse you can come up with is calling someone an egg), it's okay. His rants during FIFA's 2018/2012 location decisions were hardly diplomatic, but it wasn't malicious or accusatory.

    I suppose it applies to anyone who has a voice and a job. If you want to keep your job, just think about what you're about to say first. It applies anywhere, really. Just because your friend values your opinion, it's hardly polite to tell her on her wedding day that you think her groom is a douchebag.

  16. C16 says:

    Blame it on the Arsenal guys because Gerard Piqué is the best thing that has happened to Twitter… This coming from a Madridista.

  17. pipska says:

    Why ppl moanin at tec? He’s just speaking the truth coz it should hav been a red card, if he can’t say that then surely commentators can’t say it!

  18. Marie says:

    I think what you post on a social networking site speaks loads about you as a person. Naturally we get to see it all: the good, the bad and the ugly…
    When it comes to 'the bad' and 'the ugly' Curbing players really isn't a solution, i m sure they will find other ways to get their opinions out.

    (confession: i joined twitter exclusively for pique and in the hope that someday Xavi will join too!)

    • C16 says:

      LOL I also joined for Piqué and it was definitely worth it.

    • Pique_Xavi says:

      Marie, I'm with you on everything you said but mostly the Pique and Xavi thing. I know from interviews Xavi loves to text his brother Alex all the time so it won't be too of a stretch for him to do it to Iniesta, Pique and Puyi on twitter, but the man doesn't like the attention much. I still hope he gets one even though I don't go on mine that often I would check it everyday if he were on it.

  19. aninjasdream says:

    Just like Spiderman, if you're gonna say something, be prepared for the repercussions.

  20. Indah Kurniawati says:

    I thought both Szczesny and Fabregas have the right to talk what's on their mind as long as it's true. I personally agree that at many incident, MU got advantages from refs' decisions, and as an Arsenal's fan I truly mad with those wrong decision. From the Neville's foul who could make a draw or even a win for WBA (which mean Arsenal can top the table), and that penalty which shouldn't be happened (It's outside the box, even if Wigan's player fell inside the box) and that active handball-oh come on, you must be kidding me.

  21. barbieuy says:

    I guess it's fine that they share their opinions. Good or bad. They're only human too.. even if we sometimes see them as super human.. That's life.. we always bad mouth the ones against us.. in their case, the refs… but of course, whoever is involve should be sure that he's not being biased about his statements… i mean just not getting frustrated coz things didn't go their way.. some refs make tons of mistakes too.. pundits even make these comments during the games… and it would be less exciting if they censor too much of their tweets.. LOL!!!!!

  22. @AgnesWonka says:

    I think it's soooo cool to read their opinions!! they're talking about their jobs, aren't they?

  23. Liz says:

    It's great that they can chat with fans about their career and the like over Facebook, but as far as things like Teamsheets etc I can see why clubs dont want them discussing the ins and outs at the club. In their personal life I don't see what's stopping them using facebook/Twitter the same way that the rest of us do.

  24. Alisha says:

    Sorry Kickette I don't normally do this but I love James McCarthy so sorry but it wasn't him that handballed it, he's been out since end of October and not due back for another 3 weeks so couldn't have been him :/ Think it might have been Cleverley, they look very similar :)

  25. luckylou says:

    They should have as much right to free speech as anyone else. Personally, I enjoy their banter even if it's from a player for a team I loath.

    • Deb Stimson says:

      I like the banter too. I think Rio Ferdinand and Pique are my absolute favorites. I'd rather see this side of the players than just football related stuff. That we can get on the net…we don't need them to tell us about it, imo.

  26. I worry it could be bad for their careers because (let's face it) club execs are jerkfaces, but I think they should have the right to be just like a normal twitter user… there are some things that NO ONE should ever tweet about
    Anyway, a great thing would be for them to have an official grammar checker before launching tweets… can't handle the mistakes!

  27. FernandoFever says:

    There is nothing better than reading Lucas Leiva's hilarious tweets regarding darts!!! Brightens up my day. Plus Ryan Babel informing us he has just got back from Melwood makes me warm inside thinking of Nando sweating on those gym machines….phew!!!

  28. Tricia says:

    I look forward to Wojciech Szczęsny tweeting the next time Arsenal are awarded a dubious penalty or a dodgy decision in their favour. Perhaps he'll apologise to all of twitter on the injustice of it and offer a do-over to the injured team.

  29. As a fellow Arsenal supporter, I agree with Sznzesny! We don't want to hear stuff like 'Today was a good match. We won and we scored goals :) ' We want to hear what the players think and how they feel after a match. It's their job, it's their life, why shouldn't they tweet about it? I agree they have to be careful about what they say, because the media love to watch twitter.

    • Leya_S says:

      I agree, football is, essentially, their lives, so doesn't that defeat the purpose of Twitter if they can't tweet about it?
      I follow all the Arsenal boys, so I saw Woj and Cescy's comments and I agreed with them, especially bc there is an inconsistency in refereeing, which is a long-standing argument in the sport. Why should players not be allowed to voice their opinions just because they're players and not fans?
      IMHO, this is just like the post about Sara Pastasauce and her comments about Crispy: as long as the footballers are willing to deal with any possible repercussions of their tweets, than they should be able to say what they want. Some ppl are careful about what they say on Twitter/Facebook, some ppl aren't. It's a personal preference, and I think that as long as they're not like leaking super-sensitive top secret info or something, then they can say what they want.

    • Indah Kurniawati says:

      It's Szczesny.

  30. lulu says:

    I follow most of the arsenal team and szceszny is one of my favourites. I think his and Cesc's comments above are fair and reflect their passion for the game. Lansbury is brilliant to follow as his obviously bored as hell on loan and I think he may be an idiot savant. Jack's addiction to posting photos of himself is getting interesting – I fear a photo of the Ashley Cole variety may be next.

    What I find more offensive is when arsenal players express foul, misogynistic or illegal comments which a couple of the reserve players have and I have complained to them. Someone must be monitoring them, as both boys in question have improved the tone of their tweets.

  31. blake2108 says:

    Well, I love twitter, and I think it’s a great way to interact with fans etc. (I know you all want to follow me, my views on football (mainly Gareth Bale) are obviously amazing…. @blake2108)

    And Jack WIlshere posted an amazing pic of him yesterday, In nothing but a pair of shorts (with his dog on him) http://yfrog.com/gyaqtnxj I’ve never wanted to be a dog more in my life. We wouldn’t get this if it weren’t for Twitter.

    Yes they should talk about football. It’s their job. All of us complain about our jobs and things. They should criticize referees, because they get too many decisions wrong, and until technology is brought in, that will forever remain the case.

    I follow many footballers on twitter, and in my time only a couple have either replied or retweeted something, and the most consistent replier to me is a player in League 2. It is nice when you get replied to, but many many footballers on there don’t actually interact with their fans, answering questions etc. Now it is difficult for those who have thousands and thousands of followers, but more effort should be made really. And they don’t realise how one reply from them would make your day.

    It is hard though, Football is full of secrecy now, and players cant even inform fans of their injuries or the severity of them without them getting into trouble. They do need to be careful in that respect.

    However, Twiter is a site where you air your personal views, yes you have to be responsible about it, if you are a footballer because the media pick up on, and misinterpret many players tweets. They so have and need social lives too, which is why I like twitter, It gives fans an insight. Their views are their own, and I feel they have every right, just like you and I do to say what we want, and how we feel about something. Just need to be careful. I do wish more footballers arrived on Twitter though, I’s always interesting to see what they have to say.

    It is very easy to slag someone off on there though, and there are so many fake accounts. Someone’s made an account claiming to be my Gareth. It’s laughable. Worst part is the gullible people who follow it, over 37000 when I last checked. My second favourite player also has a fake account on there, which was confirmed a fake by one of his team-mates.

    Still, I’m an addict. It’s great, and very interesting, all player’s views should be allowed to stand, but as long as they don’t offend others, like slagging off other players/teams etc.

    • LuvinBale says:

      I agree with everything you said. It’s great when players interact with their fans- it shows that the player cares for the fans that come and watch them play, support their team etc.
      But I thought you were not allowed to criticize the refs? Redknapp had said something after a game and the FA was going to fine him or investigate the issue.

      But as with anyone in the public eye they should try and think before they speak.

      Btw- didn’t appreciate the “stupid American” comment. Stupid people come from all walks of life.

  32. gi0ia says:

    Generally, I enjoy reading players` unedited statements on their twitter and facebook. But the same which applies to all of us should apply to them, too, which is: tread carefully if you tweet about work…

    • Amber says:

      I completely agree with you. They do have to use some common sense when tweeting or facebooking about the workplace. They also need to consider that the media scrutinize their tweets and will have a field day with them. I do not think they need to be fined for expressing their opinions as they are seen as "experts" by us common folk. I feel that I have learned so much more about the game just by following them, and it's made me an even bigger footie fan.

      • Angie says:

        I agree that they need to becareful… BUT … watching the games… I feel ther refs.. abuse their power… any they do favor… some teams or player … and sometimes they have it against some teams or players… I think fans… teams.. players..should protest for a better refs… Cause if the player or coach or even a team(club) does something wrong.. They have to answer to someone or get fined… But if a ref does something wrong do they get suspened … do they get fined.. I have never heard of it… They just use the excuse of "it's the human aspect of the game" … will it be the human aspect if I go down to the field a slap one of them … NO.. I'll go to jail and get fined…

        • Dustin says:

          Because there's a difference between professionals working hard and trying to do their job the best way possible. And some guy sitting on a couch getting 13 angles in slow motion replay. And talking about physically assaulting a referee…just makes you look pathetic. Why not try giving back to the game you love and BECOME a referee…maybe you'd have a different tone then.