Since emerging from relative obscurity and growing into one of the social media big boys, Twitter has given fans and reporters an unprecedented level of access to celebrities online.
Twitter interactions stand out because they're instantaneous little thoughts composed by athletes, rather than the standard-issue PR crap offered up by their handlers. Both uniquely intimate and constrained, it allows athletes to personally interact with fans, but with an audience of millions.
Cheesed-off fans, trash-talking rivals and people who just like being mean now have the ability to flood an athlete's world with the kind of muddled, enraged outbursts that used to be confined to bars and living rooms only.
Irrational outrage is now conveniently packaged in 140 poorly constructed characters or less and delivered directly to the source. Generally it's more a curse than a blessing.
It's a well established fact that you don't negotiate with terrorists—it only reinforces bad behavior. Which is why most athletes choose to take the high road (or maybe the path of least resistance) and ignore people who are blatantly trolling.
Of course Twitter wouldn't be any fun if they all did that! Thankfully there are plenty of athletes out there who are willing to take the abuse as long as they're allowed to dish it out too.
Here are a few guys who know how to deliver a digital dis.