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GAA chiefs should not take the wrong step and travel down censorship route

By Declan Bogue

One of the more amusing facets of this particular row involving players, Twitter and administrators, is how those who position themselves as opposed to the use of Twitter by GAA personalities are not active users themselves.

Not for them, so therefore not for anyone. And as for those telling players what they should or should not say on the social media site, they resemble that uncle that thinks he can pull a few Travolta-esque moves on the dancefloor at a family wedding, when the most likely thing he will pull is a hamstring. How do you sum up Twitter? The best description I have heard is that it is the Internet-based equivalent of shouting your own name down a well, just to hear it echo back at you. It’s silly. It’s ridiculous, it’s a bit of fun and it can be filled with nutters and bores. Just like real life; not to be taken too seriously.

Some of the opinion columns written on the subject just don’t get it. One voice even used the

midst of Liam O’Neill’s feelings about the qualifiers draw being labelled a fix to draw, to link the lack of Kilkenny players with their past successes, saying that none of them are on it. But Henry Shefflin, with his ten All-Stars and eight All-Irelands is on it. Some time ago, one prominent GAA administrator happened to mention in passing how frightened the top brass of Croke Park were about players airing their views on Twitter. It had them scared stiff, in fact.

His view however, was that you cannot control it. So if it’s out of your control, why would you worry about it? Even as our media dealings with players become ever-more stilted and driven by Public Relations, we must remember that GAA players have personalities that extend beyond what they do on a football and hurling field. Until such a time as the GAA employs a player, they can and should not indulge in any kind of censorship, nor should they show any appetite to do so.

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