For everyone out there who is on social media you need to remember one thing: It is permanent. What you enter into social media will never be deleted. It will remain on some hard drive in some data center long after you are dead. One day it could be your legacy so with a plethora of kids about to go off to college or back to school the best message they could heed is to watch what they say on social media now lest it come back to haunt them later.

Catching the guilty

Baseball is a sport, it is a diversion for most and for the very few a career. Players come from all over the globe, from the US and Canada, from the Caribbean, from Africa, from Australia from the Far East and from South America. Even Europe. It is a melting pot of the world that is only equalled by soccer and maybe rugby or basketball when it comes to national diversity. Much of that is a good thing but there is always a seedy underbelly.

Over the summer three players, Milwaukee Brewer pitcher Josh Hader, Atlanta Brave pitcher Sean Newcomb and Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner have all had to apologize and undergo sensitivity training concerning some of their tweets which used racial and homosexual slurs. Some of the offensive material were simply lyrics to a song. Some of it was much more serious. But here’s the rub, these were all from around 2011 when the players were in high school.

Found by accident

The tweets were brought to light by a fan who was not looking for them at all. The tweets appeared on a fan of Hader’s timeline and that person felt obligated to share them. It did not take long for Turner and Newcomb to also become ensnared in this as well. The players all said the hateful language used did not reflect on them now but they were ordered to undergo diversity and inclusiveness training. For Hader, who was an All Star this season, it cast a much larger swath as his parents did not wear his jersey to support him during the All Star Game instead wearing a blank jersey in fear of confrontation.

Keep your profile clean

Some people try to keep their social media profiles clean, whether it is to pass muster for a college admissions officer or for prospective employment. This lesson is something that should be told to children so that as they join social media for the first time or go off on their own for the first time they can learn from it and hopefully not commit the same mistakes. Some adults can learn from this as well. None of the three players are going to lose their jobs as they are all rising stars within the game but an offensive tweet or Facebook post could be what costs you or your son or daughter a job.

There was a warning not heeded

It’s also not like there wasn’t already a warning. Colorado Rockies 2018 top draft choice Ryan Rolison was in hot water earlier in the summer for a tweet which advocated for the assassination of Barack Obama in 2012 when he was 14. Rolison chalked it up to being young and dumb and has tried to move on. That excuse does not seem to have worked for the more established major leaguers. Guess there is a benefit to being in the minor leagues hacking away in the Pioneer League in Grand Junction, Colorado.

For those who do already have accounts it may be best to review them and delete anything offensive, especially if it is old. While it will remain on a server somewhere it will at least be out of public scrutiny. It could just be an old song lyric or something like that but the last thing you need is for someone to stumble upon it and give you a PR nightmare. You may not be so lucky as Hader, Newcomb and Turner.

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