This would have made my head explode, except that nothing involving Twitter can make my head explode any more. This is, however, a troubling indication that the United States may be turning into Bizarro World, where right is wrong, wrong is right, smart is stupid, and stupid is smart. (The ascent of Bernie Sanders is another indication.)
Quarterback Patrck Mahomes of the Super Bowl LIV -bound Kansas City Chiefs was attacked by the Twitter mob this week because of a series of tweets he sent when he was in high school.
Ethics Fouls #1 and #2: This is the Hader Gotcha again, described here. Some utter jerk, presumably a fan of the pro sport a friend accurately disdains as “concussionball”—that’s unethical too, but I’m leaving that alone for now– decided to see if he could make trouble for Mahomes ahead of the Chief’s AFC Championship game on Jan.-uary 19 by searching his Twitter feed for tweets that might spark his “cancellation.” That’s a hateful and unfair act (Ethics Foul #1 ) with a nauseating Brett Kavanaugh hearings odor. Then, because jerkism is spreading in the U.S. faster than the Coronavirus in China, people actually attacked the quarterback online when the selected old tweets surfaced, as if what a 16 year old expressed in a tweet had any relevance to who that kid grew up to be, or football, or the Super Bowl. (Ethics Foul #2.)
Ethics Fouls #3, #4 and #5 And what were offending tweets?
- “Stop resisting or assaulting a cop.”
What? That tweet is 100% correct: good law, good common sense, good ethics. Mahomes was a smart 16 years old, and unlike so, so many professional athletes would appear by this sentiment to be an excellent role model for his fans, except that the sentiment is not from NFL Quarterback Mahomes but long-gone high school Mahomes. It would be foolish to give Present Mahomes credit for what Past Mahomes said, and it’s even more foolish, and unethical, to attack Present Mahomes for what Past Mahomes said, since what Past Mahomes said was wise and correct. (Ethics Foul #3)
- Two years later, teenaged Mahomes tweeted about the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin incident, “No one knows what actually happen[ed], which is why [Zimmerman] is not guilty, but a crime could have occurred.” He also noted that the situation was “an absolute tragedy.”
A vicious Ethics Dunce and apparent English comprehension-challenged Twitter user took screen shots of the old tweets and wrote: “Patrick Mahomes defending George Zimmerman in a series of tweets from 2011. Black twitter do ya thing. Cancel Patrick Mahomes.”
The current fad of Twitter users trying to enliven their petty, empty little lives by setting out to destroy those who have actually accomplished something speaks to something sick and rotting in the culture. This was Ethics Foul #4.
Ethics Foul #5 was that again, Mahomes’ tweets were not just benign, but true and fair. Of course the whole Martin-Zimmerman episode was a tragedy. Moreover, Past Mahomes’s longer tweet was correct in every respect. Nobody does know exactly what happened. That fact is why Zimmerman was found not guilty (though what was known tended to support his claim that he acted in self-defense. Yes, a crime might have been committed. So again, Mahomes is being attacked for being astute, and his attackers, unlike the teenaged NFL star to be, are not only more ignorant that he is (with nine extra years to learn the facts) but attacking Mahomes today because he wasn’t as stupid and unethical as they are now when he was 18!
Ethics Fouls #6. Now hold on to your butts, as Samuel L. Jackson says about 50 times in “Jurassic Park.” Then another Twitter user tracked down a different exchange about Zimmerman and Martin, and tweeted out a screenshot, writing,”For all the people that think Mahomes defended Zimmerman”:
Oh! So Past Mahomes was repeating the false version of the event pushed by black activists and Martin’s family, as well as the unethical prosecution that never had a legitimate case! Zimmerman didn’t just shoot Martin…he shot him as the larger man was on top of him beating Zimmerman’s head against the ground! See? Mahomes didn’t tweet anything wrong…now wait..he did tweet something wrong, because his good tweet repeated a false narrative, as opposed to he BAD tweet, which was correct. So he’s being praised for what was wrong, saving him from being attacked for what was right. Ethics Foul #6
But since what Mahomes did or didn’t think or tweet when he was a teenager is irrelevant to anything,this whole controversy is a waste of time and outrage, making everyone occupied by it dumber by the second. At least Mahomes hasn’t apologized or groveled before the Twitter mob like so many of his fellow Hader Gotcha victims.
7 thoughts on “In The Twitterverse, Like Bizarro World, Right Is Wrong And Wrong Is Right, As The Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman Ethics Train Wreck Keeps Rolling Along”
What may be worse: is the Complainant a 49ers fan?
As obnoxious as the mind-set of people engaging in such Gotchas are, there is something to be said for true believers: they are not hypocrites (bat-shite crazy, yes (PETA?), but principled). If this is just some Niner fan that is virtue-signaling just because….that is a different level of stupidity.
We may never know. It is more likely to be a Tennessee Titans fan, though.
This classic bit seems appropriate, for those who haven’t seen it:
I propose a statute of limitations for social media, sort of like naked baby photoes on rugs. No matter how good or bad anything that old in a media that should be ephemeral for its hotheaded reactions but isn’t. If a kid is old enough to be embarrassed, its time to retire the photos and eight years seems too long for me. My opinions on several things have changed in eight years and I think most every adult should say that if they are honest.
Hey, if it was like Kavanaugh, someone could have just found some rando he went to school with and have her SAY he made improper tweets. You don’t need any actual proof of anything.
And not to blame the victim here, but why isn’t there someone telling these athletes to always delete their old social media history? ALL of it? You’d think that would be standard practice by now.
Several journalists made that exact observation. Exactly right.
It wasn’t until relatively recently that the issue of old social media posts has been a problem. To be frank, we shouldn’t have to delete or modify our old posts. At least, we shouldn’t have to in the United States. If we are still the United States and place a premium on personal liberty, we should be able to handle a few ignorant, naive or just plain dumb posts made by a kid with too much time on his hands.
But, yes, it is wise for anyone handling athletes and celebrities (politicians, CEO’s, teachers…) to make sure all old posts are mined to make sure any conceiveable offensive content is evaporated.