Unnecessary Ridicule

Now don’t get me wrong, social media can be a wonderful tool used for marketing your brand, entertainment, news, etc., but it can also be a platform for ridicule. Jordan Spieth, one of the best professional golfers in the world, broke down in the Masters on Sunday. He had a five-shot lead going into the back nine and he went bogey, bogey, quadruple bogey in the first 3 holes on the back nine. There is no way around it, he choked and hit some terrible shots.

The terrible thing for me is social media being used to tear him even further down. Sometimes I wonder why people add some of the things they do to social media. What gives those people the right to say something? Are they one of the top players in the world? Do they enjoy saying negative things about someone? Now if you watched the after math on Sunday night, it was extremely evident how disappointed Spieth was after his collapse. I can only imagine how much worse it is waking up the next day seeing all the ridicule out there on the Internet.

Now I am a big Spieth fan, but let me give you a little background about the Masters if you don’t know much about it. Spieth won the Masters (1 of thsnapshot_20160410_184539e 4 major golf tournaments in a given year) last year, so he come in this year defending his title. Also, whoever wins the Masters gets a green jacket. And want to know who presents the green jacket to the winner? It is the previous years winner. So not only did Jordan just have his heart broken after losing the tournament he was set up to win, but he had to collect himself, get interviewed many times on live television, and he had to put the green jacket on Danny Willett, the Masters winner. If that doesn’t take a high character person to do that, than I don’t know what does. Jordan handled himself with the utmost respect for Willett and acted like a total gentleman.

So when I woke up the Monday after the Masters I thought there would be applauding of Spieth for how he handled himself, instead there was a lot of mocking and stabs made at Spieth. Some of them my be seen as funny, but in my opinion there is a thin line between funny and mean and most are unnecessary and rude. In my opinion, social media should be used to escalate this world we live in, not give it another platform to bully and treat people with disrespect.

Cft6sUZUYAAbGo5

Some examples include pictures mocking Spieth. Some examples included merciless comments on Twitter. Nobody deserves that after experiencing something they never want to happen again.

Cft-1t6UYAE2xqW

Maybe I’m too sensitive I don’t know, but I think Spieth deserved to be admired for how he composed himself. Social media should be a place to give opinions, yes, but tearing people down is a different story. There were enough examples of bullying when there was a world without social media, this generation doesn’t need to add social media as an additional platform.

7 comments

  1. For the most part, the memes and comments that came out after Spieth blew it were not over the line in my opinion. I was a little suprised about how much there was just because Spieth is a very liekable figure, but I saw both the pictures you posted online and found them funny. I think if you are going to be a public figure then these are just things that you have to get used to. My sympathy is also very low for people who make millions and millions of dollars and then get bashed a little on social media. I also had money on Danny Willett, so my sympathy was low to begin with. People often complain about how much hate certain celebrities get on Facebook and Twitter, but the internet giveth and the internet taketh away, so this is just par for the course (pun intended) in terms of celebrities’ daily lives.

  2. Great post! I think you bring up an interesting and prevalent issue in todays society. In terms of social media, there are a plethora of great uses and bring a lot of utility to people. However, you can not have something without people abusing the system. When you are a professional athlete, you are constantly under the spotlight weather that be during play or while you are out in public. It is extremely hard to sustain greatness, the Masters is one of the most intense and mentally draining sporting events. The hate Spieth received was unwarranted, but Spieth, like most athletes is expected to constantly put on a show and people want something to talk about. Some people do not have anything better to do than shame athletes on twitter. Just like we saw in the Ted Talk with Jon Ronson, we love shaming people and rallying around the seething remarks others make. By giving up a five shot lead to lose one of the most decorated sporting events in the world, you are going to get negative remarks. I think I have been on the butt end of losing sporting events, I am used to the backlash. For example, over 3 months after the Super Bowl, Cam Newton is still reminded of his strip fumble. Von Miller posted a picture of him “stripping” cam while he was playing water polo. Great post, unfortunately, that is the way society is!

  3. Nice post. I totally understand your point of view although I don’t totally agree. Of course he’s disappointed and upset and sad. Social media have eventually become a place where people talk about everything and anything, and they even like it more when people can just ally versus one scape goat. No one would want to be treated that way, but it was objectively quite gentle and harmless. I think that him losing, having to talk to the press and giving the jacket is just part of the game, and being talked about on social media is as well. In tennis, Nadal’s tics have been time and again mocked on social media even after a big game he’s lost, when he would probably not have wanted that. Any celebrity for that matter is always under the radar and people just wait for him/her to do something that could be put into a meme. It’s just part of the job. Is it fair? Probably not. Does it raise attention and awareness? Definitely, and that’s what agencies are looking for. The Spieth story is not one of the worst but that’s just what people like, because it feels so much better to just make fun about someone/something that just bringing compassion. Unless there are puppies involved. That’s unfortunately how people behave on social media today.

  4. I often see people ridiculing others on Twitter and this I feel like is okay as long as you are criticizing them for something they did (or didn’t do, for that matter). This situation; however, seemed to portray Spieth as a sore loser or crybaby (i.e. Jordan meme), which there is no evidence that any of that happened. So it’s fair to say Spieth blew the Masters because he did, but there’s no reason to attack his character or how he feels. He went about this extremely well and professionally, and there was even a post by his caddie that showed how his character really is (which is top notch, I might add). In the end he lost, but he’ll get over it and come back strong in his next tournament.

    Here’s the article about the caddie: http://golf.swingbyswing.com/article/jordan-spieths-caddie-speaks-following-masters-meltdown/?utm_content=1444

  5. Really interesting post, I agree with a lot of what you said, but I think there is another opinion out there that some of what Spieth did after he lost wasn’t the most professional. Although I am not of this opinion, a lot of people did not like his actions walking from teh 18th green going towards the clubhouse. After he wrapped up on 18, a cameraman was following him as he walked to the clubhouse. As the cameraman went around front to get a shot of Speith’s face, Spieth stopped him and (very professionally) asked him not to be shot in the face. Although I think everyone was sympathetic to Spieth’s emotional state, a lot of people thought that wasn’t a professional move. Not many athletes tell the cameras where they would like to be shot after a match/game. Perhaps this had something to do with the Jordan Crying Face memes.

  6. I knew about Spieth’s meltdown at the Master’s, but I didn’t know about the Green Jacket tradition. He is absolutely a world-class athlete, on and off the course, even in the face of what may be the worst defeat in his life. He has the etiquette of all these golfers combined. Just further reveals some of the things we discussed earlier in class: social media first providing a voice for the voiceless, and now serving as a stage for shame. You hit the nail on the head with this one, and Spieth earned far more credit than anyone online gave him. Great post, cheers!

  7. Nicole, I sympathize with why you chose to write this article. I often feel frustrated about rampant ridiculing/unsolicited meanness on SM that does not seem to serve the purpose of escalating knowledgeable debate or conversation. I often feel that same frustration off-line as well. The stance is, seemingly, idealistic but I appreciate your asking the basic question of why people cannot communicate with respect online (and offline). This article made me think about cyber-bullying in a different way and I appreciate the background you gave on the Green Jacket tradition. Nice post.

%d bloggers like this: