clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ball State linebacker Damon Singleton needs a lesson in social media

College football players need to think about what they're putting out on social media.

Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Bro. We've got to talk.

Saturday afternoon I was on the couch, watching my Chicago White Sox play just well enough to get my hopes up for a playoff appearance, hopes I know will be thrown back in my face. While the Pale Hose worked on an 8-2 win over the New York Yankees, I was casually perusing a site that compiles the tweets of college football players. Obviously as a MAC blogger read by literally dozens of college football fans coast to coast, I found myself reading the tweets of the Ball State Cardinals.

Unfortunately, I came across a disturbing tweet on your account. The tweet stated, in no uncertain terms, that you felt a woman should never coach a football team. This followed the news that the Arizona Cardinals had hired Jen Welter as the first female coach in league history.

Review of your account shows that the tweet has been deleted. I assume someone got ahold of you and informed you what the rest of us already know. That the sentiment you expressed just isn't cool.

Sadly, it didn't take long to come across another troubling tweet.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/KyleMatejko">@KyleMatejko</a> hope you are having a awful time you homo</p>&mdash; Damon Singleton (@DamonSingleton4) <a href="https://twitter.com/DamonSingleton4/status/616074156820410369">July 1, 2015</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

and

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/KyleMatejko">@KyleMatejko</a> you wish queer</p>&mdash; Damon Singleton (@DamonSingleton4) <a href="https://twitter.com/DamonSingleton4/status/616074592998658048">July 1, 2015</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

I noticed this and thought about turning it into an article. I kicked the idea around the Hustle Belt offices and got a variety of responses. Ultimately, I decided not to. My thought was that somebody, maybe with Ball State, maybe not, had reached out and turned the female football coach tweet into a learning moment, and simply not looked back far enough to eliminate any other offensive tweets. Evidently that didn't happen as I read the following yesterday:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/KyleMatejko">@KyleMatejko</a> you too you lil homo</p>&mdash; Damon Singleton (@DamonSingleton4) <a href="https://twitter.com/DamonSingleton4/status/628393078340976640">August 4, 2015</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

So clearly someone hasn't reached out to you. I'll try to help.

Removing the above language from your dialouge is incredibly important, but attending Ball State University provides another wrinkle. In March, following the passage of Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, MAC commisioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher stated:

"The Mid-American Conference will not schedule any more meetings or championships in Indiana until this current matter is brought to a sensible and appropriate solution."

Now don't misunderstand me. This is important everywhere. I can't stress that enough. It's fair that you know however, that there are perhaps more eyeballs on Indiana than other states. That kind of language isn't appropriate.

Do yourself a favor and don't justify words like that with, "well, I don't hate homosexuals." I'm just saving you the time, people have said that for awhile. It doesn't matter what you meant. People do that with the R-word, too. You have to be smarter than that.

It's important we take this kind of stuff seriously. Acceptance of hateful language is how situations like Florida State happen. Am I saying that tweets alone can lead to violence against women? No. If I reviewed the Twitter accounts of those accused athletes might I come across some misogynistic language? Perhaps.

Reviewing the accounts of other athletes would probably display similar tweets, so why you? Well, I'll be honest with you, about 80% of the Ball State tweets that come up come from your account. You're pretty active on social media, so someone needs to advise you how to use that responsibly. And why this forum? Because sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.

Educating yourself and getting to a place where you are more accepting of others can be a journey. I get that. The change you can implement today however, is to think before you tweet.

Just so you know I'm not beating up on you, I saw this one too:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/BallStateFB">@BallStateFB</a> thanks so much you guys made my sons day <a href="http://t.co/ody6mAgfxn">pic.twitter.com/ody6mAgfxn</a></p>&mdash; Rob Calhoun (@rmcalhoun2002) <a href="https://twitter.com/rmcalhoun2002/status/621853844402761728">July 17, 2015</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Clearly you're capable of representing Ball State appropriately. Make wise decisions and choose your words carefully. Good luck this season.