Think before you tweet. It seems like such a simple and easy to follow warning on the surface, but for some reason…isn’t. These days there are are far too many people who, for whatever reason, are unable to comprehend basic instructions.
Whether it be the heat of the moment or a simple inability to exercise the slightest bit of good judgment, there are a surprisingly large number of people in the sports world who have put a foot in their mouths. Technologically speaking, of course.
The idea that you can’t ever delete a tweet isn’t exactly true, mostly because Twitter doesn’t want it to be. The deletability of a tweet is directly proportional to the audience it reaches. If you have 15 followers, consider yourself the proverbial tree falling in the woods.
You may be jealous of all those followers, but there are many in the sports would that would love to be that tree every now and again. Especially when they say something stupid and attempt to delete it, only to realize it was screen captured and will live forever on the interwebs.
Here are some deleted sports tweets you were never supposed to see.
Hey! So apparently last May the Los Angeles Kings' social media person learned that making lighthearted jokes about rape doesn’t tend to go over well with the general public.
The tweet comparing a hockey situation to sexual assault was deleted and, naturally, an apology was issued. Something tells me a new section in the employee handbook was added too.
In November 2013, New York Knicks problem child J.R. Smith tweeted about ‘lil kids who pop at the mouth, which was apparently in reference to a tweet by the Detroit Pistons’ Brandon Jennings, who questioned whether Smith’s little brother should even be in the league.
Sorry, J.R., but Brandon was just asking the question that’s been on all our minds for months. Both parties deleted their tweets and refused to escalate the beef, which may have been the smartest decisions of their respective careers.
Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush deleted this tweet in May 2012, but not before it had been retweeted over 50 times. He received an immediate backlash over the "joke," which wasn't the least bit funny or clever.
It's not all Bush's fault though, it's not like he had to meet many (if any) rigorous academic requirements at USC. Perhaps he just thinks Nazis are still in power in Germany.
In November 2013, the Atlanta Falcons mascot, Freddie Falcon, spent the day at the 10th annual Out of The Darkness Walk, a suicide prevention agent for an Atlanta organization. Then he tweeted about the event, along with an obvious joke about the Falcons' football woes.
The backlash was swift from people who enjoy putting strangers in their place and threatening to kill someone who made a lighthearted football joke, not a suicide joke. Freddie deleted the tweet a few hours later and issued an apology.
Not long after the Oklahoma City Thunder’s recent loss to the Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma City big man Kevin Durant tweeted this photo of him blowing smoke. The type of smoke was not identified, but feel free to speculate.
About 30 minutes later the tweet was deleted and KD was claiming his phone was hacked, which may or may not be true. Durant’s teammate Kendrick Perkins certainly has an interesting theory about what went down.
In June 2012, Skip Bayless, of ESPN’s First Take, said something pretty interesting on the show. Interesting enough that the show’s official Twitter accounted tweeted it out.
And interesting enough that the show’s official Twitter account immediately attempted to delete it. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard people call Bayless a racist before.
Looks like he’s an equal-opportunity hater.
This is one of the few tweets on this list that was nothing more than a very unfortunate mistake. I certainly wouldn’t have thought much of the Vikings tweeting about National Hispanic Heritage Month, prior to a game against the Cleveland Browns with the hashtag #BeatTheBrowns.
At least not until scores of Twitter users and a number of different websites pointed out the rather unfortunate phrasing of the hashtag, considering the initial message. The Vikings were quick to react in deleting the tweet and replacing it with something a bit more appropriate.
Yikes. Los Angeles Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson seemingly attempted to message his new phone number to Mike Napoli in May 2012, which would’ve been a pretty big blunder.
A pretty big blunder if he didn’t actually tweet out Napoli’s number instead. Wilson was, apparently, “pranking” him. Nice prank, bro.
There are a lot of people who will forever dislike Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick because of his past sins, but he's been doing all he can since returning to the NFL to repair his public image.
His brother Marcus has also been doing his part—his very misguided part. This is just one of countless tweets the younger Vick brother has deleted in recent years.
In November 2013, former University of Miami football player Dan Sileo decided Twitter was the appropriate venue to put a $1,000 bounty on Florida State’s Devonta Freeman. His hope was that a Hurricane would take care of business if they played the Seminoles again in the ACC championship.
Unfortunately for Sileo, that failed on a few different fronts. The first being that Miami didn’t even end up playing in the conference championship. The second being that he was fired for the (since deleted) tweets.
Last December NBC Sports Radio came up with a very clever way to announce that Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston had not been charged with anything in relation to the sexual assault claim made against him a year prior.
Thanks to a few eagle-eyed tweeters, the not-so-hilarious Heisman pun was preserved, much to NBC’s chagrin.
Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, or some tone-deaf weirdo that runs his Twitter account, tweeted out this weird stuff about a boy’s underwear competition in October 2013.
Perhaps it was just a matter of something getting lost in translation, but it definitely didn’t sound right…like at all. Shortly thereafter it was deleted and never spoken of again.
In November 2013, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Matt Barnes used some questionable language when he tweeted out of frustration following a loss to the Thunder. Naturally, everyone freaked the hell out and Barnes deleted the tweet.
Let’s just say the rules around the use of any version of the n-word are a little bit hazy. For some reason it seems to be the opinion that if they aren’t allowed to say it, well, then nobody should be allowed. Because that’s oppression.
After the Indianapolis Colts' incredible comeback win over the Kansas City Chiefs in the recent Wild Card Round, their infamously drunken punter, Pat McAfee, tweeted out what he thought was a photo of kicker Adam Vinatieri in the locker room.
As it turned out, quarterback Andrew Luck was the true star of the photo. McAfee quickly deleted the photo, but Deadspin (and perhaps other media outlets) had already caught it and preserved it online for all eternity.
Among those who saw the photo? The NFL and/or the Colts organization, one of which fined McAfee an undisclosed amount for the snafu.
In March 2013, the official Syracuse University Twitter account tweeted that the Orange’s longtime basketball coach, Jim Boeheim, was likely to retire after the season.
Except that he wasn’t. The tweet was “inadvertently and mistakenly” sent out and quickly deleted. #Awkward
In January 2013, Eagles running back LeSean McCoy got into an excessively nasty Twitter spat with the mother of his son. According to USA Today, the whole thing began after she corrected the spelling on Twitter about his “vocation.”
That was all it took for McCoy to go into full-on meltdown mode, hurling several massively inappropriate reply tweets her way. He said she was worthless without him and called it “sad” that she can spell or read—although his spelling was more creative.
Shady quickly claimed “Hacker! Hacker!” and when no one believed him, he temporarily deleted his Twitter account. He has since returned.
This one is actually a little personal, given that it was actually directed at me. To be fair, I’m sure that many people feel the exact same way about how seriously “girls” are taken in sports. The difference is that most of those people aren’t ESPN employees defending Skip Bayless.
I respond to the occasional Bayless tweet during the football season, giving him exactly what he lives for. Recently, Tim Rizzo, who claimed on Twitter to be a part of the Stats & Analytics team at ESPN as well as the managing editor at the University of Hartford Informer, tweeted this to me.
Within minutes he deleted the tweet, along with the account, but still exists as a protected account. It wasn’t the first time he reinvented himself. He had previously been known as agitating sports blogger Rizzo Rants, who had made himself known around the interwebs.
ESPN may not care what one of their employees is up to on Twitter, but I think it’s fair to say this was a deleted sports tweet Tim Rizzo never wanted you to see.
On one hand, I actually appreciate where Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant was coming from here. He was pretty fantastic at Oklahoma State and I could see how he would feel a little slighted if someone else was getting paid that kind of money.
On the other hand, I just want to shake him and tell him to stop saying/doing things that bring attention to himself in a negative way. Of course people freaked out about this and Bryant deleted the tweet, because what else could he do?
That being said, the people who freaked the freak out about this tweet are the same people that freaked the freak out about his so-called “meltdown” on the sideline last season. Oh, but as it turned out, he was just trying to motivate his teammates.
After the Arizona Cardinals upset the Seattle Seahawks at home in late December, there was one Seattle fan that took the loss particularly hard. Washington state representative Joe Fitzgibbon tweeted his immediate reaction out to the world and it wasn’t all that pretty.
Fitzgibbon quickly recognized that a politician condemning an entire state as a “desert racist wasteland” because the Seahawks lost a football game probably wasn’t the most…politically astute move. He deleted the tweet and apologized.
When former NBA player Jason Collins became the first athlete in a major American team sport to come out as gay during his playing career in April 2013, the reaction from the sports world was largely one of acceptance and support.
The reaction from Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace was largely one of WTF. That actually works on two levels. Wallace was like, “WTF you want with dudes when you can get with chicks!” Everyone else was like, “WTF is wrong with you, Mike Wallace?”
To his credit, Wallace apologized and clarified that his tweets—which he deleted—came from a place of ignorance, rather than malice. Which, knowing Wallace, is entirely possible.
In January 2013, the Cowboys' social media person decided the best was to kick off the new year and commemorate their third (now fourth) consecutive season without making the playoffs was to publicly crap on the NHL and, specifically, the Dallas Stars.
Yeah, because insulting the Stars via Twitter is going to help Cowboys fans forget that they’ve got an owner, Jerry Jones, who is absolutely committed to ruining their lives. Till death do they part. The tweet was deleted and an apology was issued.
The Stars, being more epic than most of us would’ve been in the same situation, let the ‘Boys have it.
Last June the Winnipeg Jets' Evander Kane took to Twitter to share his thoughts about the play of Heat big man Chris Bosh. Then he defended his thought by calling everyone a bunch of oversensitive babies.
Then he said if you didn’t like his particular brand of straight talk, to #clickunfollow. Then he heard from someone affiliated with the NHL and had a very abrupt change of heart.
Kane deleted the tweets and issued an apology for the previously inoffensive, suddenly offensive language.
Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall has a long history of tweeting really horrifying things. Usually those horrifying things are about women, but sometimes they’re about how sad he is about people rushing to judge Osama bin Laden.
Mendenhall usually stands firm on the horrifying things he tweets about women, but it didn’t take him long to cave on Osama bin Laden-9/11 truther stuff. He deleted them both, but later wrote a blog to “clarify” how stupid he is.
Recently, Bud Light attempted to honor (assuming having your team name on a can of Bud Light is actually considered an honor) the four teams set to fight it out in the AFC and NFC Championship Games. Well, the four teams they hoped would be fighting it out.
In the initial photo, screen captured by TheBigLead, the Colts and Saints were included instead of the Patriots and Seahawks. They deleted the mistake and replaced it with the right photo…but it’s pretty clear where their allegiances lie.
Recently, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel announced he would be suspending his Twitter operations until May, following the 2013 NFL draft. A very smart move, considering he’s found himself in hot water in the past.
Last June, Manziel, clearly frustrated with the onslaught of negative press he’d received since winning the Heisman in 2012, tweeted out how freaking exciting he was to get the heck out of College Station, where he is the reigning king.
Johnny Football deleted the tweet, but not before everyone on Earth had already seen it.
Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is currently locked up awaiting trial for the murder of a former friend and has since been implicated in a separate double murder. He also has a pretty troubling history of doing other terrifying things.
Well, one person that he can still count on for support is Browns running back Dion Lewis. In July 2013, Lewis tweeted his obvious disdain for Hernandez’s “homies” who “snitched” on him. Maybe his #urrealfriends were afraid to be next on his hit list?
Lewis was quick to delete the tweet, but at least we all know where he stands on the issue.
In October 2013, Black Sports Online reported on a curious happening from the Seahawks' official Twitter account. Proving Rob Gronkowski isn’t alone, someone in Seattle tweeted to porn star Tori Black, who the Seahawks account follows (or followed).
Apparently the tweet bothered someone in a suit because it was soon deleted. A little bit of an overreaction, if you ask me. It’s not like the social media guy set up a date with Ms. Black via a public chat. He probably knows enough to DM that stuff.
Back in June 2013, a Redditer posted this screen shot of a tweet from former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman. The tweet was to a woman whose account has been largely disabled since then, but who may be pictured here.
It’s obvious that Aikman was attempting to direct message his lady friend, but you know how complicated this newfangled technology can be. The tweet was quickly deleted.
Last July, the Boston Bruins’ Tyler Seguin used very questionable language about homosexuality in a few tweets. A few tweets that he claimed he wasn’t responsible for because…you guessed it…he was hacked.
Seguin almost immediately regained control of his account from those pesky hackers and deleted the offending tweets. Thankfully the Philadelphia Flyers’ social media people were there to save the day for anyone who missed them.
After the incidents, Seguin wisely decided to delete his Twitter account.
Recently, Browns wide receiver Davone Bess tweeted out this photo of his coffee table. On his coffee table are the following: an alcoholic beverage, a 5-hour Energy, an iPhone, a pile of weed, a bag of weed, an ashtray and a blunt.
The tweet was posted from Plantation, Fla., at exactly 4:20 a.m. on Jan. 16th. Bess was probably feeling mighty fine at the time. Today he’s probably feeling less fine, since the tweet has been deleted and the Browns are investigating.