Jabar Gaffney Released From Redskins After Twitter Meltdown?

Was Irresponsible Social Media The Downfall of Jabar Gaffney?


The Redskins leading wide receiver, Jabar Gaffney, was released from the team today after leading the Washington receivers in almost every category last year.  The 10-year veteran was scheduled to make $2.65 million this year and was recently quoted as saying he was willing to restructure his deal if that would keep him in a Redskins uniform.  The answer was clearly NO!

Jabar Gaffney

Jabar Gaffney—Keith Allison (

As you may remember, Gaffney had a very public meltdown on Twitter last month where he made a bunch of Tweets that quickly became a trending topic around the world.  His inflammatory comments were wild accusations against other players and his “future ex-wife.”  The next day Gaffney had to come out and say his Twitter account was hacked and he did not make those tweets, but if you read the text, they were clearly him.  This was also not the first time Gaffney has created  trouble for himself with Twitter.  After a loss to the Dallas Cowboys last year, he told a fan to “kill himself” and then re-tweeted another comment from a fan that said essentially the same thing.  Both incidents became national news and shone a very ugly light on both Gaffney and the Washington Redskins, not to mention the NFL.  After first defending himself with a lame “freedom of speech” excuse he later apologized.

Gaffney's apology

Was the irresponsible use of social media the main reason Gaffney was released?  Probably not, but when you add up all the factors that came into making the decision to release him, that certainly played a significant role.  Teams, coaches and management already have their hands full with the day to day operations of a professional team, so dealing with athletes who create problems is not something they have the time to deal with.  One time is a mistake, but twice is is a different story.  If you look at his recent tweets, it seems as if Gaffney has not learned his lesson even as of today.

The problem professional sports faces is that social media is essentially an open microphone in front of these guys 24 hours a day and they have not been trained in how to use it.  The answer is to provide training on how athletes at every level should use social media for positive benefit, but most teams do not have the time or resources to train them.  We would argue that they don’t have the time and resources not to train them!  Once a social media crisis begins, it drains more resources than the few hours it would take to train these guys and show them how they can ruin their careeers and future opportunities by not thinking.   At the very least, these guy should know how to invoke their Social Media Miranda Rights when the time is right.  They don’t have to share everything that is going on in their lives with the world at large.  They can text or call friends with the stuff that is personal, yet they want to have a certain “badass” image until it comes back to bite them.

In this new world, social media training has to start early, like in the high school years, so these guys are responsible and know what is at stake when they reach the pro ranks and have a lot more at stake.  The sports world is littered with examples of guys blowing their careers by not thinking before they talk.  At some point, someone has to step up and get these guys social media training for professional athletes so they have can maximize their career and post career opportunities.  Until that happens, we are going to continue to see guys lose millions of dollars because they couldn’t control the urge to shoot of their big fat mouths.

What do you think of all this Gaffney stuff? Let us know below.


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