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George Hale Discusses the Impact of Social Media 

CURT SCHILLING STRIKES OUT WITH E-S-P-N.

IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH SPORTS.

BUT GEORGE HALE SAYS IT HAD PLENTY TO DO WITH THE TIMES WE LIVE IN…

GEORGE:

“WELL HERE WE GO AGAIN.

SOCIAL MEDIA PLAYED A BIG ROLE IN THE FIRING OF A FORMER BASEBALL PLAYER TURNED COMMENTATOR.

CURT SCHILLING, THE ALL STAR AND MVP OF THE WORLD SERIES, FINDS HIMSELF UNEMPLOYED.

THE REASON IS THAT HIS EMPLOYER, ESPN, FACED A HUGE BACKLASH AFTER THE OUTSPOKEN SCHILLING RE-POSTED A MEME ABOUT TRANSGENDER RIGHTS AND THE USE OF PUBLIC BATHROOMS.

THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT HAS BEEN IN THE NEWS A LOT LATELY AFTER LAWS WERE PASSED IN NORTH CAROLINA AND MISSISSIPPI.

ESPN THE TELEVISION SPORT GIANT TERMINATED SCHILLING SAYING HIS CONDUCT WAS UNACCEPTABLE TO THEIR COMPANY (OWNED BY DISNEY).

IT WASN’T THE FIRST TIME SCHILLING AND THE NETWORK HAVE BEEN AT ODDS OVER HIS PUBLIC STATEMENTS ON A NUMBER OF ISSUES.

ONE MORE TIME THIS CASE POINTS OUT THE PITFALLS THAT SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENTS TO COACHES, PLAYERS, TEAMS AND SCHOOLS.

CURT SCHILLING WAS HIRED TO OFFER HIS INSIGHT INTO BASEBALL FROM A PERSPECTIVE ONLY A FORMER STAR COULD OFFER.

HIS PERSONAL POLITICAL AND SOCIAL VIEWS WERE NOT PART OF THE PACKAGE.

IT REALLY DOESN’T MATTER WHAT SIDE YOU TAKE IN THIS MATTER THERE IS ONE UNDENIABLE FACT.

SCHILLING DIDN’T GIVE UP HIS FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS WHEN HE SIGNED ON WITH THE SPORTS NETWORK BUT NEITHER DID ESPN TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH HIM.

EVEN THOUGH HE TRIED TO SEPARATE HIS PROFESSIONAL AND PRIVATE UTTERINGS IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE.

IN THIS AGE OF TWITTER, FACEBOOK, SNAPCHAT AND WHATEVER ELSE IS OUT THERE ATHLETES FACE A UNIQUE STRUGGLE IN THIS INFORMATION-HUNGRY WORLD WE LIVE IN.

THE SCHILLING STORY IS HIGHLY VISABLE BUT NOT THE ONLY CASE OF PEOPLE IN SPORTS BEING BURNED IN THE CHOPPY WATERS OF SOCIAL MEDIA.

MOST PROFESSIONAL AND COLLEGE TEAMS NOW HAVE REGULAR MEETINGS TO GIVE THEIR PLAYERS AN OVERVIEW OF HOW TO USE THE TECHNOLOGY AND POTENTIAL PITFALLS.

AS SCHILLING FOUND OUT THE BIGGER YOU ARE THE BIGGER THE DANGER AND WHEN YOU POST SOMETHING FOR THE WORLD TO SEE THE CONSEQUENCES CAN BE SEVERE.

PERSONALLY I COULD CARE LESS ABOUT THE OPINIONS OF CURT SCHILLING OTHER THAN BASEBALL.

HE WILL LIKELY LAND ANOTHER JOB AS SOON AS THE FUROR RUNS DOWN.

BUT I DO WONDER IF THE YOUNGSTERS WHO SPEND COUNTLESS HOURS COMMUNICATING IN THIS MANNER ARE PAYING ATTENTION.

IN THE LAST BASKETBALL SEASON AN EASTERN HIGH SCHOOL SUSPENDED THREE PLAYERS AND EXPELLED ANOTHER JUST BEFORE THE STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME.

IT WAS ALL OVER AN OFFENSIVE VIDEO POSTED ON THE INTERNET BY ONE OF THE PLAYERS ON THE TEAM.

THE SAD TRUTH IS THAT MANY STUDENTS SIMPLY DON’T REALIZE THAT ONCE YOU PUT SOMETHING OUT THERE FOR THE WORLD TO SEE IT NEVER GOES AWAY.

AND IT CAN BE COSTLY IN LOST OPPORTUNITY AND SCHOLARSHIPS.

SCHOOLS WILL PROTECT THEIR BRAND AT ALL COSTS.

STUFF THAT GOES ON IN LOCKER ROOMS HAS ALWAYS BEEN THERE BUT THE DIFFERENCE IS THAT IT STAYED THERE AND WAS HANDLED BY COACHES AND TEACHERS.

THAT ERA IS OVER.

RIGHT OR WRONG THE ELECTRONIC WORLD OF TODAY HAS CHANGED THE RULES FOR EVERYONE.

SO THE CURT SCHILLING INCIDENT CAN BE A TEACHABLE MOMENT FOR EVERYONE.

YOU CAN HAVE YOUR VIEWS AND ARE FREE TO EXPRESS THEM.

BUT YOU BETTER BE READY TO DEFEND THEM BECAUSE ONCE THEY ARE POSTED THE WORLD WILL COME CALLING.

WHAT YOU SAY TODAY COULD HAUNT YOU TOMORROW.

THIS IS GEORGE HALE AND THAT’S MY PERSPECTIVE ON SPORTS”