The beauty of social media is that you can communicate with people around the world, forward your personal and professional profiles, and have a lot of fun. The downside of social media is that you never know who you're really talking to, and if things get heated, you can embarrass yourself in front of the entire world.
Minnesota Vikings receiver Bernard Berrian(notes) experienced the latter sensation when he started mixing it up with fans after the team's 22-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. The loss moved the Vikings to 0-4, and Berrian has just two catches on 16 targets this season.
After the game, Berrian happened to catch a tweet from a Vikings fan by the name of John Kriesel. Kriesel's first salvo went a little something like this:
If you want to follow a hilarious twitter account, try @B_Twice (Bernard Berrian) who says that he's open a lot and should get the ball more
Berrian responded as follows:
@johnkriesel Anytime u wanna watch the film with me. Not just one game but all of them. And if not sit down n shut up!!"
A little borderline, but not generally something that would be mortifying. Unless … well, unless the person you're sending that missive to is a double amputee and an Iraqi war veteran, which Kriesel indeed is. Kriesel is also a Minnesota state representative, which probably doesn't help the Vikings' ongoing efforts to convince the state to put millions of dollars into a new stadium project.
Now, to be fair, Berrian had no way of knowing that he'd made such a specific and ghastly mistake until after the fact, but this is still a very effective object lesson. To wit: Before you go thermonuclear on Twitter, consider the worst-case scenario. Because the worst-case scenario might actually happen.
Of course, the main concern is that Berrian blasted Kriesel in that way, and Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said on Monday that Berrian would be apologizing. Kriesel, by way of his Twitter account, said that he received a voicemail from Berrian on Monday and the two are now playing phone tag.
We'll keep you posted on this one.
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