Twitter can be a great tool for personal communication and professional advancement, but it is also occasionally a repository for idiots with a bit too much time on their hands and completely warped ideas relating to what's really important.
Case in point on the latter: Washington Redskins receiver Josh Morgan, who was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct late in the 'Skins' Sunday 31-28 loss to the St. Louis Rams, has been receiving death threats via social media. Specifically, his Twitter account.
With 1:19 left in the game, Morgan threw the football he'd just caught at Rams defensive back Cortland Finnegan, who had pushed Morgan in the facemask. The penalty pushed the Redskins from the St. Louis 29 to the St. Louis 44-yard line, and kicker Billy Cundiff couldn't get enough air under the subsequent 62-yard field goal. Morgan was also fined by the league for the penalty, but that was nothing compared to what awaited him on his computer.
"I will kill you in your sleep you autistic [expletive]," one message said. Another genius told Morgan that "I hope someone throws a football at ur [sic] firstborn child," and another implied that Morgan was one of the worst things to happen in Washington D.C., along with the "crack epidemic."
"I heard everything, especially when they got you on Twitter and they start sending the death threats and wishing bad on your family and your first born and things like that, you see it all, you hear it all," Morgan told the Washington Times on Wednesday. "You don't got no choice but to see it all and hear it all. But you never let it get to you, especially me being from D.C."
Morgan's teammates have his back, boneheaded mistake aside. "Mistakes happen. Most people in their life, when they make a big mistake, it's not viewed by millions," nose tackle Barry Cofield said. "They don't have to worry about death threats because they can make it in the privacy of their own homes. It's tough, man."
Sadly, this isn't the first time a player who made key mistakes in a game received such disgusting threats. After San Francisco 49ers receiver Kyle Williams fumbled two returns in the 2011 NFC championship game against the New York Giants, costing the 49ers a chance at their first Super Bowl in nearly two decades, Williams had to deal with a barrage of abuse.
@KyleWilliams_10. I hope you, youre [sic] wife, kids and family die, you deserve it
@KyleWilliams_10 you should jump off the golden gate bridge for that one
@KyleWilliams_10 HOPE U RUN n2 A BULLET DA WAY U RAN INTO DAT BALL…
Jim Harbaugh, please give @KyleWilliams_10 the game ball. And make sure it explodes when he gets in his car.
It's important to note that Williams received a lot of support via his Twitter account, in part from people who were appalled by what some people will do and say in a public forum.
"You know what? I really didn't pay attention to Twitter," Williams said last January. "All the feedback I needed was family and friends, the guys in the locker room. That was all I needed because that's really all that matters when you come down to it, the guys who are wearing the same jersey as me and the family and friends who were close by."
Morgan was one of those guys in the locker room; he was on the 49ers' roster in 2011.
"They treated me like they did Kyle Williams last year," he said.
Football is very important to a great many people, but a (fortunately) small subset of individuals really need to get a grip.
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