If you want proof professional athletes need serious consultation when it comes to the use of social media, look no further than the example New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush is setting these days.
Bush, the ex-Heisman Trophy winner from USC, has shown in the last couple weeks that he doesn’t understand the reach of social media, or the damage he can do to himself with it. Not good for a man with a brand so far reaching he has some 1.6 million followers on Twitter.
His latest misstep came Monday when he tweeted this little gem concerning the NFL lockout and how he is spending his forced down time: "Everybody complaining about the lockout! Shoot, I'm making the most of it! Vacation, rest, relaxing, appearances here and there! I'm good!" And for good measure, added: "Right about now we would be slaving in 100 degree heat, practicing twice a day, while putting our bodies at risk for nothing."
He apparently heard from many of his followers. Either Bush or someone in his camp wisely understood he needed to clean up that statement. This whole lockout fiasco is widely seen by average fans as a fallout between billionaire owners and millionaire players—two worlds most fans don’t happen to live in.
"FYI last tweet was a joke! Relax people damn it's called sense of humor! Cry me a river why don't you," Bush wrote in response to the barrage of angry tweets from his followers.
This latest PR misstep came a couple weeks following his tweet “It’s been fun New Orleans” after the Saints drafted Alabama running back Mark Ingram in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Talk about bad timing.
Bush’s future with the Saints has seemed in doubt since the end of the last season. Things have been compounded by the fact he has a bloated contract that is slated to pay him $11.8 million this upcoming season. The Saints obviously aren’t going to pay a specialty player who has trouble staying healthy that kind of money. They want him to take a pay cut. Initially Bush seemed open to working something out to remain with the team that made him the No.1 pick in the draft, but he has been mum on the subject in recent months and has even stayed away from voluntary workouts with the rest of his teammates.
There are rumors that since landing Ingram, the Saints are open to trading Bush. They also could just cut him once the labor dispute is over rather than pay him the kind of money he is due.
With all of that understood, Bush might want to think before he tweets or brings any more unflattering attention to himself.
(Photo: Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)