Social networking has its place in the GAA, but not like this
In this day and age, with social media websites playing such an important part in people’s lives, should the GAA step in and restrict players from using these sites to publicly criticise the games and other issues within the association? Of course, Twitter has been used by many famous sport stars and celebrities to have a go at each other and to maximise their infamy.
I have been following the recent developments in Westmeath lately with ex-panelists and current players giving the Westmeath manager Pat Flannigan and the county board a bit of abuse. Flannigan’s name has been bandied about and he is said to be furious with the emergence of an online Twitter tirade against his leadership by a number of stars, including John Egan and Tommy Warburton, who are part of the current Lake County panel.
At the time of writing, Westmeath have played two and lost two in the NFL and play Galway on Sunday 4th March in Cusack Park. It could be seen as players not taking responsibility for their own failings on the pitch and lashing out at the manager. The thread online almost has a taste of bullying to it. How these players can walk into the changing room and look Pat Flannigan in the eyes I will never know.
Below is the thread on Twitter that has caused the controversy:
On Thursday former panelist Conor Lynam tweeted:
This brought the following responses from another former panelist Denis Corroon.
Before current panelist Tommy Warburton steps in:
Earlier in the week, current Westmeath player John Egan, in response to now Aussie based former star John Heslin, had a go at the way development squads are managed in the county. The tweet has since been deleted.
The GAA, which prides itself on its respect, decency, fair play and ethics really doesn’t need this type of behaviour from players. The Association’s own Respect Initiative ‘aims to promote positive behavior and to ensure that an enriching environment is provided for the promotion and development of Gaelic Games. This includes respect for and from all participants on and around the field.’
Maybe someone should show this ‘Respect Initiative’ to the Westmeath players before they go on their Twitter and tweet.
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