Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Social services

By tweeting his reaction to be being left out of the England World Cup training squad, Luke Narraway is hardly likely to endear himself any further to the England management.

"Good luck to Thomas the tank and his English nan #notbittermuch," tweeted Narraway this week.

Although intended, according to the perpetrator, to be no more than witty banter, the comment is being interpreted by the media as being a thinly-veiled attack on the 'multi-cultural' make up of the England squad at the expense of homegrown players.

Putting the merits of the argument to one side and setting aside the apparent need for every Tom, Dick and Harry to provide a public commentary of every minute of their lives via Twitter, it really is about time for players to wake up to the impact that social media now has. Narraway may have naively thought that he was merely indulging in banter with his mates, but as a professional sportsman his comments are clearly going to be monitored by the press who will obviously seize upon anything remotely controversial.

Narraway is not the first to be caught out and will not be the last. The Right Reverend Graham Henry has, it's reported, banned the All Blacks from using Twitter etc during the World Cup. Martin Johnson, on the other hand, is apparently trusting his players to use social media responsibly.

I hate to admit it, but on balance I'd say Henry has probably got this one right.

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