It has been said, and written, time and time (and time) again that Twitter and athletes don’t mix so well. Sure, there are many athletes that remain composed enough to keep their more controversial opinions to themselves. But man are there a whole lot of athletes who just can’t seem to censor themselves. And in this day of instant internet sharing, their brief 140 character outbursts can lead to some pretty awkward situations thereafter.
Take for example former Arizona Wildcats’ OF Robert Refsnyder. He was a beast at this year’s College World Series, taking home the Most Outstanding Player Award as his Wildcats took the championship from the University of South Carolina Gamecocks, who were attempting a three-peat. During the two game championship, Refsnyder was subjected to some pretty sad commentary on his race from some not so cool South Carolina fans, and he took exception to it. As we all would. Only, he posted his thoughts to Twitter:
“I will never live in South Carolina because they can’t accept Asians playing baseball”
“When people make death threats to my family and myself for being a certain color or race…caused some animosity”
“Haha man people are racist, wish you could have heard the things people were yelling at me tonight and the messages ive received! #forgive”
Well, Refsnyder is a smart kid, and realizing he had a Twitter brain fart, he quickly deleted those tweets and replaced them with:
“Poor judgement on my part I apologize, nothing but respect for south carolina and ray tanner“
Fair enough. Most people can understand his frustrations and can appreciate using Twitter to voice them to as many people as possible. And most people can appreciate his quick realization that he had poor judgement and did the right thing by apologizing and showing respect. Should be end of story, but nooooo…
Refsnyder happened to be drafted by the New York Yankees, and the New York Yankees Single A team happens to be the Charleston Riverdogs. Yep….that Charleston. South Carolina. Which is now where Robert Refsnyder resides and makes his living as a baseball player.
Man, Twitter…you can be rough sometimes. But the silver lining to this story is – Charleston forgave and forgot.
“As soon as I landed in Charleston, people have been nothing but great,” Refsnyder told the Charleston Post & Courier recently. “I know how much pride people take in this state. I’m just excited to play. These (RiverDogs) guys are real nice and as soon as I walked into the clubhouse, I was accepted. Looks like it’s going to be fun.”
You may have outplayed and prevented my Gamecocks from a third straight National Championship, but I’m glad you’re playing for the hometown team now, Robert Refsnyder. Welcome to South Carolina.
And here’s a tip: When people welcome you in person, and they will, just smile and say “Thanks y’all.”
Filed Under: College Chatter
About the Author: Keepin' Folly Funky spreads the love between the Buffalo Sabres, Colorado Rockies, Denver Nuggets and South Carolina Gamecocks. Used to root hard for the Buffalo Bills, but after accepting the fact he was a victim of Battered Fan Syndrome, he learned to let go. His time spent in sports broadcasting reinforced the realization he wanted nothing to do with sports broadcasting, so he figured he'd write a bit - after he was finished snowboarding in Colorado and touring the country playing funky jams. Now he's knee deep in the water where the boat leaves from...