Friday, 10 June 2011
Conte Cuttino and the Twitter Controversy
Under normal circumstances, this wouldn't be a big deal. Every year during Training Camp a number of prospects get cut for various reasons, such as underperforming.
Conte Cuttino, however, was not cut because he under-performed.
Conte Cuttino was cut for a brand new reason.
Conte Cuttino was cut because of Twitter.
This is not the first time that the Tiger-Cats have had to deal with a Twitter controversy. Last season, Maurice Mann took to Twitter to voice his displeasure at his role with the team, even going as far as telling Marcel Bellefeuille that he was a "whack ass coach."
Mann deactivated his Twitter account not long afterward, and everybody moved on.
I was not on the player's side in that instance. Not because Mann used Twitter, but because Mann had done nothing to that point in the season to warrant calling anyone "whack ass."
That said, I cannot side with the team on this one. The Tiger-Cats need to quit acting like Luddites. The weird part is that Tiger-Cats use Twitter in a variety of capacities, so the coaching staff's outrage at player usage is confusing at best and hypocritical at worst.
Twitter is a way fans can interact with the players they cheer for on game day. Rules put in place to stifle that interaction should no longer be tolerated. We live in a different world, and like it or not, Twitter (and Facebook) are a part of that world.
I understand that teams want to let as little information as possible leak out for fear of giving their opponents a tactical advantage, but this incident that led to a player being released is hardly the same. All Cuttino did was show support to injured teammates. He was being a good teammate, and for that he was released.
Teams want to control the message; in this century, that's simply not possible. A young player should not lose his opportunity because he embraces ways to interact with his fans. That's wrong, and even though he apologized and seemed sincere in his regret, he shouldn't have had to do that. Cuttino even deactivated his Twitter feed in response. Another act of contrition that he should not have had to make.
I've heard the argument that he broke a rule and needed to be punished. The problem isn't that a rule was broken; the problem is that the rule exists.
It is high time that the Tiger-Cats step out of the past and join the rest of us in the present by abolishing this unnecessary and archaic rule.