Athlete mental health matters, so stop fretting online

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Twitter is a weird, weird place, man.

It can be fun! There are beat writers, blogs, good fan accounts and others that make posting about sports enjoyable. It’s always fun to scroll through Twitter during a game to find things you might have missed or have a little laugh.

For example, there was a lot to laugh about last night. Life is fun when you can find the humor in it.

Most of you fall into the fun category or just watch it, and that’s a good thing! However, this post is not for most of you but for the crazy ones who choose to use this platform to bash college students and others for being Big Mad and feeling the need to let everyone know about it.

We’re trying to have a good time here, but there are so many people who seem perfectly fine with ruining this spewing poison or just hate. Some have gone so far as to base their entire identity on it and make a career out of it, which is just a sad state of affairs.

When a team loses or makes a bad game, some in the arena itself are very quick to boo or shout. When they watch at home, they pick up the phone and go to Twitter. Some criticism is fair, yes, but it can be overdone pretty quickly.

Under no circumstances should anyone ever Tag an athlete if they choose Mad Online. This is just weird, wrong and shameful.

Here’s the thing. Every single athlete has decided on a sport at some point. Mostly because they find joy in it, playing makes them happy. They keep playing because they have a passion for it.

Who are you, some online rando, to take it upon yourself to steal someone’s joy, no less than a college kid? It’s just some sick stuff.

Social media is indispensable nowadays. Athletes build brands for themselves because it’s good for them. And good for them! They risk their health and livelihood for their sport, they earn some from it.

It should be a good thing social media. A warm environment that athletes can use to positively interact with the fanbase.

But no. Because some jerks decided to ruin this fun, Mike Woodson and countless other Indiana coaches have had to advise their teams to be careful with social media.

That goes for all athletes, by the way, not just the Hoosiers. If Indiana loses, you shouldn’t be in another team’s athlete mentions or DMs (weird behavior). And you definitely shouldn’t treat former stars as if they’ve revealed state secrets by showing up to events in another team’s colors to watch a game and have fun.

These are people with lives that exist outside of the court. Emotions, memories, dreams, loved ones and more.

You have a favorite spot on campus, just like every other student. They’re not just thinking about the next game, they’re thinking about the exam ahead. Not only do they high-five a teammate after a great game, they meet up near Bloomington for lunch.

Athletes aren’t just there for you to watch, and certainly not for you if you get too angry about something that, by and large, doesn’t affect your livelihood.

Your sanity is so much more important than any game.

Before you pick up the phone to get angry with the athlete, remember the person because they are one and the same person. Be polite.

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