Bernard Berrian: Vikings WR Another Example of Why Twitter's a Problem in Sports

Wes ODonnellFeatured ColumnistOctober 3, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 01: Bernard Berrian #87 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on during the game against the Houston Texans on September 1, 2011 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Bernard Berrian has recorded only two catches for 37 yards this season.

Much like last season, when Berrian only caught 28 passes in 14 games, Minnesota Vikings fans have grown frustrated and restless with his lack of production.

It is not like he hasn't seen the ball fly his way either. He's been targeted 16 times so far this year which is about 14 percent of McNabb's pass attempts. However, he accounts for only three percent of McNabb's completions.

It is not a great number, but it is a number nonetheless.

Vikings fans have reason to be frustrated with Berrian, and the receiver has reason to be frustrated in losing four straight games and catching only two balls.

But in no way shape or form does it give Berrian an excuse to fire back at fans on Twitter.

This has become a problem before, but mostly for players speaking their mind about things they should simply keep to themselves.

Berrian doesn't have that problem. Instead, he likes to get into it with his followers from time to time. More often than not it ends up with harmless banter, but Sunday things took an ugly turn.

The veteran receiver was a little testy after a fan, @DreDaydaBoSS, came at him with this:

Get McNabb *** outta here foreal.. Take that bum  with you too

But the real situation rose up after Minnesota State Representative, John Kriesel, invited his followers to join him in following the Vikings' receiver. That didn't sit well with Berrian, and prompted the receiver to respond to the state representative. The initial exchange also highlights who Kriesel is:

And that wasn't nearly the end from Berrian who also added:

Now, one could argue that Berrian had no idea that Kriesel was a war veteran and amputee. And, initially the comment by itself could be considered just a poor use of wording by Berrian. But all he had to do was click Kriesel's profile and see the link if he wanted to give his response any bit thought.

Instead, he voided any benefit of the doubt when another follower alerted the Viking to who Kriesel is:

That didn't matter to Berrian though, and he then proceeded to defend himself further by tweeting his family's military involvement.

There was no apology. No admission of being hasty in response. Not even the acknowledgement of being an insensitive jerk.

And even when prompted with a valid question by another fan, Berrian put the finishing touches on his ignorant responses:

Berrian has a history of being insecure with criticism. He's a consistently inconsistent player and his production has dipped every year since his first in Minnesota.

Regardless, he should know better than to respond angrily to fans following another loss. He's a professional athlete and that means more than just stepping on the field and producing.

We really shouldn't surprised though. The receiver isn't holding up the football playing part of his job, so why should we expect him to act professional off of it?

Being an active member of Twitter welcomes criticism from fans whether warranted or not.

Berrian, a eight-year veteran in the league, should know better than to be provoked on such a public platform.

If Berrian wants to be treated with more respect from the fans then he needs to put forth better numbers on the field. If he can't even do that, maybe he should simply focus on treating his fans and followers with respect instead.

Poor production as a football player is excusable to some degree. Poor production as a human being is not.