The NBA's policy on social media is pointless

It was announced today that Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings will be fined $7,500 by the NBA for violating the league's social media policy. Jennings updated his Twitter feed immediately following a win over the Portland Trailblazers. The NBA's policy states that players, their representatives, and team personnel are banned from social media activity during games as well as 45 minutes before and after.

Here's the tweet that got Brandon in trouble:

Really. That's it. Jennings was excited his young team was off to a great start and wanted to publicly congratulate them. From a fan's perspective, it's very cool to see. We get the vibe of the locker room and hear in his own words how thrilled he is. How does the NBA react to this positive PR? They fine him half a Honda Civic.

This is ridiculous. An NBA policy on social media, and Twitter especially, is unnecessary. As most know, updating Twitter isn't complicated. It's sending a text. I assume most coaches and teams have policies in place on when athletes are allowed to use their phone. Limiting players from using social media has zero impact on their play, attitude, anything. They're already texting. Unless the NBA is doing this purely for selfish reasons—which would be wrong in the first place—then there's no reason at all.

NBA: Let the players Tweet, you're only hurting yourself by not doing so.

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Comments (2) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
hayes legal - December 21, 2009 2:26 PM

Professional sports are definitely in a time of panic and confusion regarding social media. They want to keep their image on tight lock down like they did in the past, but realize it's getting increasingly difficult to micromanage everyone.

We'll see if they come to any sensible conclusions that will keep pro players in line without being absurd about restrictions.

Colin O'Keefe - December 22, 2009 10:44 AM

It makes sense that professional sports leagues are concerned about their image, but the restrictions in place in the NBA now have zero impact on their image. If anything, the league could use more tweets like the one produced by Jennings.

As mentioned, players should be allowed to tweet whenever they're allowed to text.

So where does the league come in? Education. Athletes need training on social media, not restrictions.

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