The grand promise of social media is its immediate, unfettered access between athletes and fans. The grand problem of social media is also its immediate, unfettered access between athletes and fans. In other words: The idiots are ruining Twitter too.
Forty Niners kicker David Akers is the latest athlete to find that no matter how stupid you think humanity can be, there'll be someone to exceed your expectations. On Wednesday night, Akers received the message "YOU F----OT IF YOU MISS ONE MORE FIELD GOAL YOU ABOUT TO GET YOUR ENTIRE LIFE ENDED."
The message apparently affected Akers enough to have him disable his Twitter account, @DavidAkers2. The tweeter's account, @RIP_FreeLaddin, has also been deactivated.
It's the latest in a string of tough news for Akers. As the Sacramento Bee notes, Akers has missed 10 of his 35 attempts this year after setting an NFL record for field goals made with 44 last year. The 49ers have turned up the heat on Akers, bringing free agents Nate Kaeding and Billy Cundiff into camp, even though Akers is currently leading the fan vote for Pro Bowl among kickers. Akers is in his 14th season in the league.
Akers is the latest in a growing line of NFL players receiving death threats on Twitter. Most recently Mark Sanchez had to deal with the pathetic attention-grabbing gambit, but Kyle Williams, Josh Morgan and others have had to deal with some anonymous clown striking at them.
It's easy to brush off Akers as oversensitive to one crank's message. But don't. Think, just for a second, how it would feel to have someone you don't even know tell you you're "about to get your entire life ended." Think about one of your loved ones receiving that message. There's a line for criticism, and it's not hard to understand; this garbage crosses it every time. "I was just goofing around" is no excuse, and if you actually think this qualifies as "free speech" it might be time to get off Twitter and get back into a middle school social studies classroom.
Rant over. Why can't we just talk about football anymore?
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