Over the past few weeks I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the Tyson Fury situation; while spending not much time posting on social media. And now I realise these issues are linked.
During over six years as a comms manager at a high profile football club, I came to the conclusion it’s unfair to expect sports stars to be role models. If they are, that’s great. But their job description is to win matches or, in Tyson Fury’s case, knock people out.
I haven’t yet seen anyone state the obvious – that the arrogance, aggression, and single-minded selfishness that are absolutely essential to be the best in the world (at anything) don’t exactly compliment the humility, balanced judgement, and reasoned thought that some people want to see in their sports stars.
Journalists and the public say they want people to give honest answers to honest questions. But when people like Tyson Fury do, we don’t like it. Which is why the great sporting role models give such bland interviews – when, for all we know, the other Sports Personality of the Year contenders (and the best ‘role models’) could have beliefs which are equally unacceptable to us. It’s just we don’t know about them.
How does this relate to me spending less time posting on social media? Well, I guess it’s because now I hold a position of leadership, I’m more aware that the things I say and do will be much more open to scrutiny than they were before. So, like the great sports role models, if in doubt, or if it could be even mildly controversial, I’m now erring on the side of saying nothing.
It’s a shame, and I guess for my Twitter followers it makes me appear even more boring than I really am. I’ll try to have more of a balance in the future, and would appreciate feedback on how I can achieve that balance without offending people with my real views on important issues!