CFL Twitter trouble a lesson

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:48 AM ET

Rob Murphy has learned what Jon Cornish already believed to be true.

Don’t say anything on Twitter you wouldn’t say to microphones, or face the wrath of the commissioner.

When the Toronto Argonauts left tackle was fined by the CFL for ‘tweets’ deemed inappropriate, it reaffirmed to Cornish and other high-profile Twitter users to watch what they say.

“Free speech goes far to protect most things,” said the Calgary Stampeders running back. “If you start yelling ‘fire’ in a movie theatre and other stuff like that, it isn’t protected. You have to watch what you say in our situation.”

Cornish’s Twitter feed is tamer than Murphy’s, by design.

One of his latest messages was almost exactly what he said to the media Tuesday. It read: (sic) “pretty surprise I was honored with canadian of the week, i sometimes forget the league distinguishes between Americans and canadians ;).”

Cornish has opinions, but realizes he has an image to maintain and that’s hard to do if he runs off at the mouth.

“If I’m around some of my boys, I don’t censor myself,” Cornish said. “I don’t censor myself much on Facebook because I have control over my friends.

“You have no control over who follows you on Twitter. It’s a place where you have to make sure that anybody can be reading your comments.”

On the trip to Montreal to play the Alouettes, Murphy made comments with phrases such as ‘smelling foreigners’ and not being happy about riding through ‘Frenchland.’

He retracted and said it was all a joke after being fined.

The problem with Twitter (and text messaging) is the tone may not come across in 140 characters or less.

When Stamps slotback Nik Lewis, who’s a frequent user, puts out a ‘funny’ thought, he tries to make sure it’s taken as a joke.

“Everything you say can turn it into a bad thing,” Lewis said. “You have to be careful of what you say and how you say it.”

Lewis doesn’t believe the CFL went too far in fining Murphy.

Although Lewis has had Twitter wars with the likes of Saskatchewan Roughriders linebacker Tad Kornegay, he said he knows the line.

“I don’t plan on getting fined,” Lewis said. “I don’t even write about anything interesting. Maybe I would get fined if talked bad about the media. Maybe I will have a players’ revolt and we will trash the media.

“I’m not an all-star, and nobody is going to vote me one anyway, so I might as well trash the media.”

Nik is joking. We think.


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