It has happened again. While fans always suggest that they want to know more and more about the players (and most do), when that happens, there are some who will inevitably complain. The latest example is the mini-Twitter controversy involving Darius Miller and a group of fans upset about his “tweets.” The background is this….Miller is a vivacious Twitterer, sending out messages at a rapid pace and likely spending more time on the addictive site than virtually anyone not named “kysportsradio” and “thomasbeisner.” As part of his Tweets, Darius did what most normal college students would do and spoke the language of the day, which includes a lot of “yo”s, “legggggos” and “23-skidoo”. It also apparently has included some curse words, with Miller retweeting some tweets from friends of his that had a couple of f-bombs and the like. This caused a controversy that led to an uproar on TCP and a number of fans writing Miller directly and telling him that he was embarrassing the program. I myself have gotten a number of emails from fans on the topic and for some reason, a relatively small group has decided that this is something they are very upset about and need to discuss. Miller for his part, retweeted one of the complaints directed at him, likely in a joking manner.
I feel like we write one of these columns every year, but it bears repeating now. It is likely the case that if you are easily offended, you should not follow players on FB or Twitter. This isnt because the players are bad guys….in fact, I would argue that the group that has been at UK these last couple of years is one of the best from a character perspective that have been at UK in a long time. But you must remember, THEY ARE COLLEGE STUDENTS….and college students dont talk like those that are much older. I am a few years older that college-age and even I dont understand all of what is said by the kids with their rock and roll and rap music (the first time I saw “legggggooooo”, I had to write Chelsea Chowning and ask for a translation). Kids dont talk like those older, and that includes using much saltier language than many may be used to. If you dont believe, go and visit a college campus on a Friday or Saturday night….you will likely be shocked and dismayed…but the behavior is normal to those that are that age. I am not suggesting it is good or bad, that is a moral judgment for people to make personally….but it is reality and something that older folks just dont like to accept.
The basketball (and football) players are part of that environment. They speak like normal college students and they act like normal (albeit famous) college students. Their Twitter accounts are no different (and are in fact much tamer) than those of kids you probably know from your hometown. If you dont want to enter that world, you probably shouldnt follow them. My mom will sometimes call me upset after reading something negative said about me in the comment section here. The bad things written bother her much more than they bother me and I told her that if she wants to keep her sanity, she simply cant read them. The same likely goes for the fans as well. If you want to see the players as larger-than-life heroes who do no wrong and are perfect role-models for your children, then watch them on the court and leave it at that. If you want to realize that they are normal college students, who go through the same things that other college students do, and have the same traits (good and bad) as your children and neighbors, then follow them on Twitter and Facebook. But if you do, you cant then complain when you see them for the average college students that they really are.