Twitter giveth, Twitter taketh away. For all the good that Twitter, and social media in general, has brought into the world, it has also brought its fair share of evil. And while it has proven to be a great tool for athletes to interact with us grubby peasants of the world, it has also gotten more than its fair share of athletes in hot water.
One way this has happened is the emergence of “burner accounts.” In case you aren’t hip to the slang, here is how “burner account” is defined by Urban Dictionary:
When people/celebrities use fake accounts and talk in third person about themselves to shit talk people they wouldn’t shit talk on their real account.
So, in honor of the sports figures who have had their spot blown up, here are my picks for the illustrious Sports Burner Account Hall of Fame.
When I think of burner accounts, this is the first one that comes to my mind (partially due to being a Phoenix Suns fan living in the Toronto are – two cities Bryan Colangelo called home before Philadelphia).
The 76ers brought in Colangelo to clean up the public relations disaster caused by Sam Hinkie’s “The Process.” Little did the team know, they were causing themselves an even bigger PR nightmare.
The Ringer discovered that Colangelo’s “wife” (quotation marks there on purpose) operated five burner Twitter accounts. On these accounts, Colangelo’s “wife” trashed Hinkie, current Sixers players, and disseminated sensitive Sixers organizational information.
Colangelo proceeded to throw his wife under the bus and blame her for the accounts, but did resign his post. He hasn’t been seen or heard from since. Neither has his wife or his “wife.”
The embattled, exiled NFL star Antonio Brown is actually the impetus for this Burner Account Hall of Fame.
A few weeks back, keyboard surfers posited that @Tav58111115 is actually a Twitter account run by Brown. The account only follows NFL adjacent accounts, stands up for AB in replies to people dissing him, and had the same horrific grammar and “style” as Brown’s official Twitter account uses.
Oh, an additional smoking gun is that Brown’s middle name is Tavaris aka Tav.
Super sleuths also recently discovered that Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM Jason Licht (allegedly) has a Twitter burner account.
The Dirty Sports Podcast hosts argue that Licht has a burner account he uses to defend his questionable drafting – and sticking with – Jameis Winston as his quarterback.
Actually, I probably can delete the word “allegedly” from the opening sentence, because the alleged (there’s that word again) burner account @Jameis1of1 is registered to the same phone number as Licht’s official account. Busted?
Maybe not so fast – Pro Footbal Network recently interviewed the alleged (ha) author of this Twitter account, and he claims he runs it, not Licht.
This one isn’t “alleged” – Kevin Durant has admitted to it. He claims he created and used Twitter burner accounts so he could communicate with family and friends on it like a normal person, hidden from the ever-present scrutinizing eyes of the public.
Unfortunately for him, he sent out a bunch of Tweets defending himself in the third person and bagging on the OKC Thunder from his verified account. He forgot to switch over to his burner account(s). Or something like that. He’s had other, different and confusing excuses in the past.