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Penn State, Seattle Seahawks Cause Stir on Twitter

Twitter took center stage again this weekend as Penn State Athletic Director Sandy Barbour, and the Seattle Seahawks organization were scrutinized in two separate cases after controversial tweets. Everybody is guilty of getting caught up in the moment from time to time, but how often will we see influential individuals and organizations make boneheaded comments on social media, then delete them as if no one has already seen them?

Comparing all that Martin Luther King, Jr. had done as a civil rights leader to winning an NFC Championship game is laughable. Although the National Football League is a $45 billion business, football is still just a game. Nothing anyone has done on the gridiron will ever equate to the steps Dr. King put forth for equality in this country. The tweet was a poor decision by the Seahawks Twitter handler, and the post has left a black eye on the Seahawks organization as they prepare to defend their title in Super Bowl XLIX.

Then there was this – Penn State Athletic Director Sandy Barbour replied to a tweet, indicating that the men’s hockey team’s decision to wear “409” (in recognition of Joe Paterno’s all-time NCAA wins record, which was reinstated after being stripped following the Jerry Sandusky scandal) during a game last week was “inappropriate and insensitive.” Barbour later apologized, but was under fire for speaking on such a sensitive issue in such a casual manner. This will pass, but nevertheless, it is a digital meltdown that could have easily been avoided. As Herm Edwards would say, “Don’t press send!”

For more information regarding reputation and crisis management, do not hesitate to contact Fallston Group by phone at 410.420.2001 or by email at info@fallstongroup.com

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