By Kate Roth
In the past few years social media has emerged as one of the top go to methods for retrieving any sort of news around the world, including sports. No matter what sport you are interested in, there is always something happening on social media to keep you updated with your favorite teams and players. Often fans can even stay connected with the players by following their personal social media sites.
This has proven to be both good and bad for athletes. Yes it is great for them to be able to share some their personal life with their fans, but social media can also lead to negative situations for athletes all too often.
Twitter and Facebook seem to be the normal sites that we find athletes getting themselves in trouble with by their comments, but now even the popular social media dating app, Tinder is causing some trouble for two young athletes.
Greg Betzold and Jake Marchment two young players both only 19 years old playing in the Ontario Hockey League, part of the junior Canadian Hockey League, have found themselves suspended for 15 games after sending abusive comments to women through the social media site.
The two players who originally though the conversations they were having would stay private, quickly saw them go public all over the news after the women took screen shots of their conversations and posted them online for all to see.
Once the OHL was informed of these incidents they acted quickly and informed the players, teams and press that even though these were private actions in the two players lives it was still unacceptable behavior and they would have to serve a 15-game suspension as consequence.
Betzold and Marchment took their own private Twitter accounts to apologize for their actions. Both stated that they wanted to make clear that they thought these were private conversations, but none the less it was childish and unacceptable behavior.
With the amount of off-field drama that college, semi-professional and professional sports have had this year, it is clear to see why the OHL acted so quickly. Not only did the league serve up a pretty heavy suspension for first time offenders, they also made sure to alert the media of the issue right away and assure them that the situation was being handled by the league.
The OHL is a league designed to develop young players as they prepare to enter into the NHL. By acting quickly on this situation and making an example out of these two players, the OHL is showing that they care about their players and are there to help develop them not only as players, but also as young men.
Hopefully other athletes, especially young ones, can learn from the mistakes made by these two players and all other players who have found themselves in some trouble through their actions on social media. While it can be a great way to stay connected to the fans, the athletes need to know their limits and realize that nothing they post on any of these sites is private.