Monday, March 30, 2009

Tweet No Evil?

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been fined quite a bit of money during the time that he's owned the team, mostly for criticizing the officiating over the years. So the fact that he was fined again this weekend comes as no real surprise, but the way that it happened is unusual: The fine was levied as the result of a Twitter post:
Cuban used the Twitter online social network to complain after Friday night's game that Denver's J.R. Smith was not called for coming off the bench to taunt Antoine Wright after he missed a shot near the Nuggets bench.

Cuban said in another posting Sunday that he "can't say no one makes money from twitter now. the nba does."
Heh. It's funny (and completely understandable) that online mogul Cuban is using the latest technology to vent his proverbial spleen.

But that brings up a question: Should owners be getting fined for criticizing the officiating, no matter what form of communciation is used? If an official is called out by name, I can see a problem, because that could bring up security issues for said official. But why does free speech end at the door of a sports league? The officials have a huge responsibility, and their actions can affect the outcome of a game. If something is really wrong, I don't see a problem with talking about it in public. (If it happens too much, people will likely dismiss a coach or owner's actions as "crying wolf" anyway.)

Am I all wet here? Feel free to call me out in the comments; no fines will be levied.

UPDATE: On the other hand, I think most people would agree that it's a bad idea to use Twitter to criticize a job you haven't even gotten yet.

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