New York Giant’s head football coach, Tom Coughlin, is not happy.  (Well…when isn’t he?)  Coughlin wasn’t happy when player Jason Pierre-Paul dumped Prince Amukamara in a tub full of ice.  Then Steve Weatherford tweeted the video of the incident.

When asked about the incident, Coughlin responded with:

“As I’m understanding it, there were some parts of it that were inappropriate. In no way is anything that occurs within this family or group, should that be a part of any kind of social media. So I’m going to address that thoroughly. I’ve spent a little time on that this preseason. So I’ll look into it further.”

So I have to ask – is anyone really shocked or enraged by the video?

Steve Weatherford, who Tweeted the video, later tweeted:  “The video I posted was distasteful.  Our team is a family, and we love each other.  I am sorry to the fans.”

So raise your hand if you’ve never played a prank on someone you love?

If you think it’s inappropriate – what exactly do you think football players do?  If Joe Biden tweeted a video of Barack Obama dumping Mitt Romney into a bucket of ice – that would be inappropriate.

That’s because football is entertainment.  Political office is a job that requires diplomacy.  (This is not to say football players don’t work hard.  The business it can be classified with regards to social media is it’s an entertainment to the public.)

Is there really diplomacy when the Giant’s take the field to play the Eagles?  (Being married to an Eagles fan – I am going to guess no!)  At the end of the day – what you post is a reflection of your organization.  But how should you deem what is appropriate vs inappropriate for your specific industry?

  1. What is the public perception of your organization and your industry?  Is it serious?  Fun? Entertainment? Professional? Once you know how people perceive you – does what you post cross a line?  Does it lose the public’s trust into the ethics and culture of the organization – painting your organization in a bad light?  If it doesn’t – then it is “likely” appropriate.  With regards to the Giants – did anyone actually lose trust in the football team because of this video?
  2. Could the post/video result in less revenue for the organization?  Based on the public perception – will it make customers think twice before being associated or using your product or service?  Will it embarrass them to be associated with your organization or make them think you’re unethical?  As of this writing – no sponsors have dropped their brands and there has not been a decline in ticket sales for the Giants. 
  3. Will it alter the way you do business or distract you from doing business?  Don’t forget why you’re even in business to begin with.  If you’ll end up spending more time on addressing the post/video than on actually doing business – it’s not worth it.  If it alters the way you do business – it may generate a new idea or become a positive force to your organization’s culture.  The Giants have been able to hold practice and prepare as they navigate through pre-season.  Although they’ve had to address the situation – I don’t see the focus of touchdowns being taken away.  In fact – it probably allowed the team to create a stronger bond amongst them.   

Was this video prank that went viral a tad over the top?  Yes.  Should it be a lesson in to pay a little extra attention to what you’re doing using social media?  Yes.  Was this harassment and something that should embarrass the NY Giants? No.

This is football.  It’s a sport where men are paid millions of dollars to put on a uniform and gets cheers from the crowd by bringing another man to the turf.  Is throwing a teammate into a bucket of ice that much different than giving your coach a Gatorade bath for winning the Super Bowl?

Let’s spend our time on more important topics and let football teams decide what is appropriate to share.

*Note: I am not a Giant’s fan.  Just a social media fan and the fair usage of the tool.   


Ron Romanski is CEO & Chief Strategist at Preactive Marketing, an independent marketing consultancy specializing in creative, integrated marketing solutions that are designed to engage your clients, build a relationship, and get you results. Preactive Marketing specializes in marketing planning and management that encompasses email marketing, social media, SEO, and website content and design. Ron has served in various leadership roles, leading projects and teams that achieved upwards of 400% increase in revenues for product offerings.

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