Our world today has been overtaken by social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Four Square, etc. These media outlets have given us the chance to correspond on a “personal” level with stars. I have talked to MLB players, ESPN analysts, Snooki (a class of her own), and NFL all-stars. The most recent convo I had with a pro athlete was with Brendon Ayanbadejo. For those of you that do not know, BA is currently a special teams all-star for the Baltimore Ravens. He started his career with the Atlanta Falcons, then had brief stints w/ the Bears, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Toronto Argonauts, Ravens, Amsterdam Admirals, and BC Lions. In 2003, Brendon signed with the Miami Dolphins. He was there through 2004, and then moved onto the Chicago Bears from 2005-2007. From 2008 to now, BA has played with the Ravens where he started as a linebacker and eventually became a special teamer. To date, he has 3 pro- bowl nods in 2006, 2007, & 2008.
Now, this article is not written to talk about Mr Ayanbadejo’s stellar career. Rather, I want to discuss his involvement in the social media world. He is one of the most accessible athletes to the general public that I have ever seen. He is very “exposed” and shares intimate pics (such as family) with the world of web. When I first started following BA, I found him to be very interesting, extremely astute, philosophically advanced, and eccentric. Always communicating with fans, he never had anything bad to say…until a few days ago.
The former linebacker, current special teamer, and HUGE “DB” (douchebag) decided to degrade a child on Instagram.
Now I know that it is probably difficult to have to deal with constant scrutiny and the probable dumb questions from the public. I understand that. BUT … it is part of being in the public eye and being a professional athlete. I can understand getting so annoyed with it that the player may want to retreat or make himself invisible to the public, but Brendon has consistently chosen to make himself available through social media. So with that comes responsibility, common sense, and respect. Sure, yeah, that kid probably asked a question that is beat to death, but there is no place for a public bashing of a kid. Brendon lost all of my respect. Feeling the need to “blast” the kid on a public forum is simply lame, there is no other word for it…well “scumbag-ish,” “inappropriate,” and “disrespectful” come to mind…but lame is sufficient. No doubt, Brendon is a physical specimen who has busted his ass to get where he is and make a name for himself, but he clearly has forgotten that the FAN has helped to get him there. Somewhere along his career path he forgot WHY he is where he is. The answer … THE FANS. Brendon…They took you to where you are. Without them, you have nothing. Yes, maybe you would have still opened a “Bella Berry Frozen Yogurt,” and could have been successful, but probably not, and especially not to the extent that you are now. Without the fans, you don’t have a career. I get your frustration of not being able to live a normal life and not being able to enjoy the normalcy of not being bugged on every social media outlet. But, Brendon, you gave that up by becoming a MILLIONAIRE professional athlete. Taking a convo that you had with a kid and putting it on Instagram only to “blast” the kid, is about as low as you can get. AT LEAST, scribble the kids name out or blur it out with one of those cool iPhone apps that you like to use. And when someone calls you out on it, don’t defend yourself and say that you do “philanthropy” and I could see that if I google you. Next time a kid pisses you off, blow it off. Don’t put it on a world wide social media outlet so that you can make yourself look better in front your cronies. Grow up, Mr. Philanthropy, AKA Biggest DB in the NFL.