There’s a strong argument to be made that in the hands of professional athletes, social media are like hand-grenades waiting to go off.
For every master of the medium like Michy Batshuayi, there’s a Willian covering-up Antonio Conte in a FA Cup celebration photo or a Charly Musonda deleting everyone he follows every time he moves to a new loan club.
Still, level-headed Tammy Abraham isn’t someone you’d expect to run afoul of Twitter. Which, in a way, proves how pernicious this stuff is — it doesn’t take much to provoke a backlash.
When Steve Bruce, the manager who convinced him to join Aston Villa on loan, was fired on Wednesday, Abraham posted an innocuous tweet with a couple emojis of frustration*. Jack Grealish liked it.
But Aston Villa fans quickly reacted and let him know in no uncertain terms that they disagreed with him. Maybe one of them was the supporter who threw a full head of cabbage at Bruce during Tuesday’s eventful 3-3 draw (in which Abraham scored) with bottom-of-the-table Preston North End.
As a loan player who’s new to the club, Abraham quickly realized he was in no position to get into a dispute with Villa fans. So he promptly deleted his tweet.
In the larger picture, no harm, no foul.
But another indication that high-profile athletes should treat social media like a grenade with the pin pulled — very, very carefully.
*ed.note: incidentally, this emoji, which is commonly used to express frustration or anger, emotions associated with blowing steam out of your nose (harrumph!), is actually called "face with a look of triumph" in Unicode. It was meant to represent a triumphant feeling by the original designers!