Thanks to the demands of their professional lives, sportspeople are certainly more flexible than your average Joe. That also means they are rather adept at sticking their feet in their mouths. Of course, having easy access to social networking sites only makes their gaffes more hilarious. Twitter seems to be the prime arena for all such faux pas. And there’s certainly no shortage of people lashing out, losing it or just having brain-farts through their tweets. More often than not, these result in fines levied by sports bodies, but what’s a few thousand dollars for someone who makes millions. The real winners here are all of us, who normally get to enjoy them without suffering any penalties. Here’s our pick of the more recent Twitter gaffes.
The swashbuckling England batsman was under fire for criticising selectors for dropping him from a Twenty20 series in 2011. Of course, Pietersen is not one to shy away from speaking his mind, but in this case he might have gone a tad overboard. “Yep. done for rest of summer!! Man of the World Cup T20") and dropped from the T20 side too...Its a f***-up!!" he tweeted, before adding something about Surrey, which resulted in the England cricket body fining him an undisclosed amount. Pietersen never really learnt his lesson and in 2012, he ranted against commentator and former England opener Nick Knight. The result: another undisclosed fine. Pietersen is still a very active user of Twitter, but has somehow managed to keep a tight lid on angry rants since that last misstep.
Kevin Pietersen blasts selectors
Spot-fixing is no laughing matter, but Aussie big hitter David Warner was more concerned about his picture’s spot being fixed next to an article on the latest IPL-related controversy. Warner, it must be said, had nothing to do with the spot-fixing controversy. Warner, who has nearly 200,000 followers on Twitter, called one of the journalists a "p**ck" and added they "talk s***". He then branded another long-time cricket writer an "old fart" in a series of expletive-ridden tweets last week. Responding to journalist Robbert Craddock, Warner tweeted: "Shock me @crashcraddock1 talking s*** about ipl jealous p**ck. Get a real job. All you do is bag people. #getalife". Some more foul-mouthed tweets followed: "All he did was talk s*** about the greats now he sucks up there (sic) ass. Talk more crap why don't you." Naturally, Warner was fined a hefty sum by Australian cricket authorities, but we have a feeling this isn’t the last we have heard from this potty-mouth.
Closer home, Indian limited-overs’ player Suresh Raina used a time-tested “I didn’t do it” to explain away a major Twitter goof-up. Following Pakistan’s loss to Sri Lanka in the World Twenty20 tournament, an inflammatory tweet popped up from Raina’s account, ridiculing India's archrival’s loss. Two minutes after that, Raina also tweeted about how he’s looking forward to joining his Indian Premier League teammates in Chennai for another tournament. The story got funnier the next day when Raina said it was his nephew who had allegedly put up the ridiculing tweet and also lamented about the fact that smartphones can be dangerous. Raina has since deleted that tweet, but as long as his nephew is around, we can expect to see more such gems.
It wasn't me!
There is no shortage of controversies when it comes to Sreesanth, but this Twitter gaffe predates his most recent bugbear. Five years ago, fellow Indian bowler Harbhajan Singh slapped the medium pacer during an IPL match but Sreesanth preferred to keep quiet about the incident till last month, when he let loose on Twitter. "To be whr Iam ..I ve no complaints..but now I want u All to know the truth. He (Harbhajan) never Slapped me. the video will show u all..wt he did," Sreesanth tweeted. He added in a bunch of tweets, “All blamed me for getting emotional ..??c mon who doesn't get emotional whn u know the person who u worship is a backstabbing person Nd ..Disgusting ..that's all I can say..u should get hold of the video..them u all will know te truth..wht he did is completely out of control.” We totally understand. Perhaps, Sreesanth was feeling out of the limelight for a while and he wanted some of the attention. Little did he know that there would be no lack of it in a month’s time.
No one can stop Carlton Cole's '"okes"
The England striker rounds up our list of bad Twitter crimes. There’s no dearth of racist incidents in football these days despite authorities tamping down on such episodes. Cole’s faux pas could be called funny if it were on stage at a stand-up comedy show, but on Twitter, it will be labelled plain insensitive. England were playing Ghana at Wembley in March last year and Cole thought it would be funny to tweet: “Immigration has surrounded the Wembley premises! I knew it was a trap! Hahahaha. The only way to get out safely is to wear an England jersey and paint your face w/ the St. George’s flag!” Cole was subsequently fined £20,000 and now he’s a free agent, which means any team can pick him up without paying a transfer fee. What are the odds on an offer from a Ghanaian club?