The Los Angeles Kings have had the best team Twitter account in sports. Funny, irreverent, engaging, topical, not afraid to take a dig at their rivals, worth following even if you weren't a Kings fan... pretty much the opposite of every single other North American professional sports team that operates in the social media space.
And then, for some reason, the Kings decided to hand over their Twitter account to a Los Angeles radio host - KROQ's Kevin Ryder. It's a gimmick teams and leagues will often do, bringing in a guest tweeter to engage with fans and tweet from the team's official account to provide a few extra laughs or answer questions or be "edgy." Who knows. It's usually a pointless exercise that adds nothing (if I wanted to follow these people I could figure it out how to do it pretty easily), but these official Twitter accounts do it anyways.
Who could have predicted how scary accurate the Kings' prediction would be! During that second period, Ryder tweeted out this sexual assault joke to the Kings' 225,000+ followers...
There are certain things that just don't go over well in print. This is one of them. It's not like this is the first example we've seen of attempted Twitter jokes gone horribly wrong, but maybe some day people will learn. The Kings (or Ryder, who knows) deleted the tweet, but not before it got out to the masses. The Kings then had to send out this sheepish, corporate looking apology...
We apologize for the tweets that came from a guest of our organization. They were inappropriate and do not reflect the LA Kings.— LA Kings (@LAKings) May 22, 2013
For his part, Ryder also tweeted an "apology" on his own account but also took an angry swipe at Deadspin for some reason, as if it was "the internet's fault" he was receiving negative publicity.
(1 of 2) My apology. I made a poor choice in the wording of my tweet. I wish I had used different words. If you were hurt by me, I'm sorry.— Kevin Ryder(@thekevinryder) May 22, 2013
(2 of 2) I get angry when groups like Deadspin see it as kindling to make a fire for themselves. That's worse than my choice of words.— Kevin Ryder(@thekevinryder) May 22, 2013
I just have to laugh at people that say something dumb and try to turn the tables on individuals expressing "faux outrage" or as Ryder puts it, "making a fire for themselves." No, it's not worse. It's not even close. What would the world think if Sergio Garcia got up at his press conference today and blamed the media for writing a story about his awful fried chicken joke at Tiger Woods? What if Garcia said that behavior was worse than his racially insensitive failed attempt at humor? That would be idiotic.
It's not faux outrage, it's wishing people would think before they tweet, especially when they represent other organizations. I'm sure there are people that are outraged at the Kings and Ryder for this and rightfully so. That's their decision. If you don't tweet a sexual assault joke, then you don't have to worry about it. It's really that simple. The Kings' Twitter account was getting along just fine without them.