The Colorado Rockies selected Ole Miss pitcher Ryan Rolison with the 22nd overall pick in the MLB draft on Monday night. He wasn’t in the draft room when his name was read, and for good reason: He was with the Ole Miss baseball team, which was playing Tennessee Tech in an NCAA regional championship game.
But maybe it’s a good thing that he wasn’t there. A search through Rolison’s Twitter account turned up a very disturbing tweet he posted on the evening of November 6, 2012.
Here is @Rockies first round draft pick from @OleMissBSB Ryan Rolison now deleted tweet about assassination of former President Barack Obama on the night of Obama’s reelection pic.twitter.com/Jv2BpUOdeX
— Exavier Pope (@exavierpope) June 5, 2018
That’s the night former President Barack Obama won re-election, so there’s very little doubt that’s who Rolison was talking about. He was around 15 when he posted the tweet.
Once Rolison was picked by the Rockies, the tweet started making the rounds on Twitter. He deleted it, but deleting something on Twitter doesn’t make it go away. On a conference call on Tuesday with Rolison and Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich, Rolison directly addressed his 2012 tweet, and he didn’t hedge.
It was in 2012, and it was a stupid tweet, and it was immature of me. I had no idea what I was talking about. It was immature of me to post something like that. People know that’s not who I am, and the Colorado Rockies know that’s not who I am.
The Rockies, like many organizations, search through the social media accounts of prospective draftees before they make a decision. Which is why Bridich was comfortable drafting Rolison. On the conference call, he said that he understands that young people can say regrettable things on social media, and he’s confident that Rolison has grown up in the six years since that tweet.
It was a long time ago, and he didn’t really know what he was talking about, it was regrettable. If there was some sort of pattern of behavior, then we’d be talking about a whole different sort of topic, but in this world we live in, in this Twitterverse and Twitter world, and all this social media, these sorts of things are going to happen. And especially when it’s fully available to individuals who are not yet adults or thinking like adults, I mean look, not even adults make good decisions on Twitter. I mean, you can go to the highest power in the land, and how controversial and how things can get out of hand so quickly. We know Ryan’s a good person, and we’ve had many conversations. We’ve had our people get to know him. It’s an opportunity to learn a lesson and move on to baseball, and I appreciate Ryan being up front about it. We can just move on, and I look forward to him really being part of our organization.
A few players who were drafted on Monday realized in advance that as soon as their names were read, their social media accounts were going to be heavily scrutinized. Alec Bohm, who was drafted No. 3 overall by the Philadelphia Phillies, was prepared.
Hopefully other young players who might get drafted follow Bohm’s example.
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