Below, an interview and workout video of draft hopeful Raven Johnson, a wing player out of Mississippi State who has worked out with the Wizards, and then, his story…
Athletes and politicians represent the two foremost groups that must be weary of the ills of Twitter. Maybe politicians have more to lose in terms of social standing, but the millions Gilbert Arenas ultimately lost due to his 50-game suspension in 2010 by David Stern is nothing to scoff at. It may have been Finger Gunz in Philly which made the final decision possible, but Arenas’ Twitter escapades surrounding his gun incident helped make a strong case for Stern.
In the furor of 24-hour news cycle overreaction to initial misreporting of the December 2009 situation between Arenas and Javaris Crittenton, Rev. Al Sharpton implored Stern to punish with a heavy hand. Before his suspension (which was initially deemed “indefinite”), and before his original @GilbertArenas Twitter account became non-existent, some of Arenas’ last tweets took to criticizing the reverend of inane public profiling. In the present day, however, Arenas continues to get fined by the NBA for tweets deemed inappropriate (for language), which have also been scrutinized because of their misogynistic nature. Future athletes and politicians will surely continue in this out-of-bounds manner on many occasion.
Mississippi State’s Ravern Johnson, a four-year senior who worked out for the Washington Wizards on June 2, also has first-hand knowledge of Twitter’s tribulations on the college level, albeit much more trivial in comparison to Arenas. In early February 2010, one of Johnson’s tweets, seemingly expressing frustration about a tough season, was deemed “inappropriate” by his university. He was also suspended indefinitely, at first. Johnson’s tweets were not utterly flagrant (they are quoted below), but seeing as the failed system of college athletics serves more as a money-making venture for institutions than it does to serve the athletes and the sport, it makes total sense that many coaches hold a desperate grasp on their ability to be disciplinarians. Not to say the college landscape isn’t chock full of good stories and genuine benefits, there’s just an obscene imbalance. And not to digress too much into a legit area that’s beside the point, because in this case, the punishment remained just. Being dumb enough to Tweet something likely to be viewed as dumb is no excuse.
Johnson’s Tweets (via Clarion-Ledger.com):