Stamps probe sex tweet

Stampeders quarterback Henry Burris in a game against the Eskimos at McMahon Stadium in Calgary,...

Stampeders quarterback Henry Burris in a game against the Eskimos at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Alta., July 23, 2011. (AL CHAREST/QMI Agency)

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:40 PM ET

CALGARY - Henry Burris stepped in for his usual post-practice scrum and asked the media for some football questions.

Crickets. The momentary silence was awkward.

Once again, the face of the Calgary Stampeders is making news for an off-field issue in a world where a spark can quickly turn into brush fire with new media.

Last year, a photo of Burris wearing a bra was circulated via e-mail and Facebook, and it became fodder for rabid Saskatchewan Roughriders fans to put on posters.

It was embarrassing but harmless.

This time, there is at least doubt as to whether Burris himself had anything to do with the situation the Stamps are “taking very seriously.”

On Monday, a sexually crude message appeared on Burris’ Twitter account. It was quickly deleted.

The club is looking into what happened, and Burris has told them he doesn’t know how it got there or how it disappeared.

Burris deserves the benefit of the doubt, and the team is giving it to him.

Smilin’ Hank is a great ambassador for several charities, and he has endless energy in donating his time.

His Twitter account is usually full of messages about how much he loves washing his car, or an inspirational quote or phrase.

Hacked Twitter accounts are nothing new — you might even know someone who has had theirs taken over by a spammer at one point in time.

Now that Stamps president Lyle Bauer addressed the situation, the team will need to find out exactly what happened.

There could be several scenarios.

A hacker may have done it, although it seems like an odd way to smear someone as the message was relatively tame by Internet standards.

Maybe someone grabbed Burris’ phone, sent the message and then removed it, all without his knowledge. It would be a cruel prank, but there is a history of that happening within football teams.

The language in the message wouldn’t seem out of turn in any locker-room in the CFL.

Much more off-colour things have been said within those walls.

On an otherwise quiet practice week, a story like this makes for good chatter.

Of course, people want to know what was in the tweet, but that’s why it’s become a distraction.

The Stamps have a big game Saturday against the Montreal Alouettes, but the media gathered Tuesday had to force themselves to ask about the mighty Grey Cup champions.

“I’m not paying attention to it,” said Burris in an attempt to not address the Twitter issue.

“There are more important things than what people are thinking. It’s all about security for me and my family.

“It’s about taking care of our personal belongings. When something like this happens, you have to make sure people aren’t tapping into your credit card. That’s on my top of my mind more than anything else.”

No matter how it happened, the situation is another reminder that public figures need to be careful with social media and what they say.

“We expect our players, our staff and anyone involved in social media to be professional and respectful,” Bauer said.

“We don’t want them to do anything that would embarrass the club or the league, and that’s across the board.”


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