If you or I send something, nine times out of 10 it will get little to no coverage. But, when someone with a little notoriety does, he or she opens the floodgates because the opinions and thought will be rolling in. Among the "star" club, that send button has a more damaging effect on athletes, in my opinion. I say that because when you go on certain sites, they have articles there that try and decipher an athletes tweet and make it out to be something it's not.
I always say, as great as social media is, if you are not careful it can ruin you in ways you never thought possible. And, professional athletes are not the only ones getting caught up in the web. Amateur athletes are too. Many of them are under 21 and think that this won't effect them when it is time to sign that contract, but it does. Even if they move on and achieve monumental success, there will always be someone trying to bring that fateful message back into the spotlight.
In my opinion there is a simple way to avoid this, and I've mentioned this before, it is in the best interest of everyone who participates in social media activity to stay as far away from personal messages and posts as you can. At times, athletes have posted things on some very touchy topics just trying to simply express themselves, which they have the right to do. A massive dust storm comes at them and most of the time these athletes do not see it coming; they are left to defend themselves.
When this does happen? The team that they are playing for is forced to go into PR overdrive to save face, some of it is for the player but a majority of it is for the team. Now that a player's reputation has taken a hit what does he or she do? If he or she chooses not to do anything, then I think this person is doing more damage and is jeopardizing his earning potential for future contracts and endorsements. The best thing he can do is to rebuild his reputation through community outreach and also repair his online reputation by having his activity monitored.
Now the latter may seem a bit over the top, but given the hard work put in the first time, it will be twice as hard to repair the second time. So, having a personal team or a professional firm assist you is a great investment.
For some of us, the send button means nothing. To others, it can cost you millions of dollars in the long run. Always keep in mind you can't take posts back. Sometimes it is better not to send it at all.