It’s almost becoming a daily occurrence: a high-profile athlete posts, tweets or shares their thoughts via social media and madness erupts.
Over the last week alone, NBA superstar Kevin Durant was responding to fans with fake Twitter accounts, and frequently-ailing Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul accused his team of cheating after he failed a physical.
But for every example like the ones above, there are athletes who make an effort to avoid online controversy.
Polarizing NHL defenceman P.K. Subban boasts 1.03 million followers on Twitter and has been able to effectively balance his online presence while managing what to say and, more importantly, what not to say.
Subban hasn’t weighed in on the Durant and Lupul situations, but the Predators blueliner did recently explain his own approach to social media in an interview with Adam Vingan of the Tennessean.
“I always think less is more,” said Subban. “I’ve seen a lot of guys, and just not athletes but people in general, that have (written) things on social media that are controversial and later on they regret what they wrote. I always say that if you’re going to put something out there that’s going to do some good, then great. If it’s just going to cause a storm and it’s just going to be a bunch of negativity, I wouldn’t do that.”
While Subban does realize that he has every right to say whatever he wants to his legions of loyal followers, he takes a very pragmatic approach to his social media use and recognizes that he is not just a public icon, but also a professional who works for an organization with a job to do.
“The reality is I do have freedom of speech and I do have a social media account that has a significant amount of followers,” he said. “But at the end of the day, there’s someone who owns the organization, there’s someone who’s paying me. I also have to respect them as people and understand that they also want the organization to be seen in the right light. You would never want to put anybody in a position where they would have to address it with you.”
Because, nowadays, there is no such a thing as a delete button on the internet — especially if you’re a famous athlete.