Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Olympics and Twitter Go Together Like Spaghetti and a White Shirt

Because of a tweet, a player from the Swiss Men's Soccer team, Michel Morganella, has been dismissed from the 30th Olympic Games.  When his team was beaten by South Korea 2-1, he posted a tweet saying that the South Koreans were "a bunch of mongoloids" who "can go burn."  Yikes.

After packing up his bags, Morganella did offer an apology.

"I am sincerely sorry for the people of South Korea, for the players, but equally for the Swiss delegation and Swiss football in general. It's clear that I'm accepting the consequences. After the disappointing result and the reaction from Korea that followed, I made a huge error," Morganella said.

The Swiss player isn't the first Olympian asked to catch the next flight out of London, however.  Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou was dismissed for tweeting, "With so many Africans in Greece, the West Nile mosquitoes will be getting home food!!!

I don't get it.

Social media is taking over the planet.  Watching NBC's Olympic coverage today, I sat through "Social Download" during which Michelle Beadle (absolutely no complaints there, but don't belittle her like this, NBC) explained what parts of the United States were tweeting the most about athletes like Michael Phelps.

While I agree it's cool to see what the athletes are saying during their time in London and during their events, I don't think this much scrutiny needs to be placed on Twitter.  Like when Lolo Jones was criticized for asking when the shooting events take place.  Anyone with a little common sense understood she was talking about the actual Olympic shooting events, and not hinting at any recent violence that has broken out in the United States.

It is unfortunate that these athletes are put under and even finer microscope when they use Twitter, but that's how the world turns these days.

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