So the Chicago Cubs’ would-be-outfield Dave Sappelt and I had a little run-in tonight on Twitter. Before you all assume this was my fault, let’s take a look at a bunch of the tweets put forth by the obviously- intelligent Dave Sappelt recently:
There was this:
And then this:
And then, when I and several other Cubs fans (of both sexes) pointed out the sexist nature of Sappelt’s tweets, we got this typical athlete response:
So, let’s take a moment to review what we have here:
A backup outfielder, who can barely speak English properly (as far as I can tell from his tweets), and who apparently poops dog shit (for reasons yet undetermined), insulted 50% of his team’s fan base. Upon having realized that (GASP!) people were offended by his tweets, Dave Sappelt proceeds to tell the fan base to “grow up” and “stop being so sensitive.”
Did I mention he also blocked me?
Looking at the big picture, I don’t really care. I mean, I didn’t even know Dave Sappelt was ON Twitter (or the 40-man roster, for that matter) until tonight. But this kind of thing is a problem for the Chicago Cubs. Why? Well, because there aren’t a ton of reasons I want to go watch this team play right now, anyway. And frankly, why do I want to pay to go to Wrigley Field, one of the most expensive ballpark visits in baseball, to see jackasses like Dave Sappelt play when I can spend a lot less to watch the up-and-coming talent play with the Kane County Cougars?
This isn’t the first time a Cubs player has gone off the rails on Twitter, as the previous Ian Stewart unpleasantness taught us. And while I’m all for people being able to speak their mind on Twitter, it might be in the Cubs’ best interest to reign some of these guys in. Bottom line: the Cubs have an unhappy fan base right now. Having the players act like jerks on Twitter isn’t going to send anyone running into the virtual waiting room for tickets.
And one more issue before I sign off for the night: There seems to be an epidemic of celebrities on social media (though it’s really a stretch to call Dave Sappelt a “celebrity”) who seem to think that they are entitled to love and devotion of the masses, no matter how ignorant the remarks they push out to the masses are. If you disagree with their idiotic ramblings, then YOU need to grow up, because they’re just A) having an opinion, B) Keeping it real; C) some other equally idiotic thing.
But here’s the thing: a lot of us have said stupid things on social media that have offended people. God knows I’ve done it, and, if you spend any amount of time on social media, you’ve probably done it, too. The difference is that most of us realize we’ve said something dumb and have apologize for it. I’m not sure why celebrities fail to get this message, but it would go a long way towards establishing good will with the fans if guys like Dave Sappelt learned a little bit of humility.
In conclusion, Chicago Cubs, part of my job is train people to use social media, both in technical terms and in online etiquette. I’m available any time, free of charge, to teach the Dave Sappelts and Ian Stewarts of the world how not to not ostracize 50% of the fan base.
Frankly, I don’t think you can afford it.