The Kansas City running back's very public self-immolation began shortly after a 37-7 home loss to the Chargers in October 2009. After dissing head coach Todd Haley ( My father played for the coach from "rememeber the titans". Our coach played golf. My father played for redskins briefley. Our coach. Nuthn ), Johnson directed a gay slur at a heckling fan: think bout a clever diss then that wit ur fag pic. Christopher street boy. Is what us east coast cats call u. Two weeks later, the Chiefs released the two-time Pro Bowler.
2 of 20AP
The outspoken owner of the Mavericks tweeted an open question shortly after his team's 103-101 victory over the Nuggets in March 2009: how do they not call a tech on JR Smith for coming off the bench to taunt our player on the ground ? The dispatch proved historic, with Cuban becoming the first person to be fined by a sports league for Twitter comments after the NBA charged him $25,000.
3 of 20John Iacono/SI
The Steelers running back prompted a firestorm with a tweet posted one day after Osama bin Laden's death: What kind of person celebrates death? It's amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We've only heard one side... In a subsequent tweet in response to University of Illinois basketball player Dominique Keller, Mendenhall suggested a 9/11 conspiracy ( I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style. ) The insensitive comments cost Mendenhall the endorsement deal he'd recently signed with Champion.
4 of 20Tout.com
Always a Twitter trailblazer, O'Neal posted a video to announce his retirement after 19 NBA seasons: im retiring Video: http://bit.ly/kvLtE3 #ShaqRetires "We did it. 19 years baby. I want to thank you very much," O'Neal said in a video posted on his Twitter account. "That's why I'm telling you first. I'm about to retire. Love you. Talk to you soon."
5 of 20AP
Then the head football coach at Tennessee, Kiffin unwittingly committed an NCAA violation by mentioning a high-school recruit by name: It's a beautiful day in Knoxville, Tennessee today. I was so exited to hear that J.C. Copeland committed to play for the Vols today! The school's athletics director said it wasn't actually Kiffin who penned the post in question but an employee in the football office who was updating Kiffin's Twitter page for him.
6 of 20Matt A. Brown/Icon SMI
Then a rookie with the Timberwolves, Love jumped the gun in announcing the termination of head coach Kevin McHale via Twitter -- before the team had made a formal announcement: Today is a sad day ... Kevin McHale will NOT be back as head coach this season. "P.S. I am not a breaking news guy..." Love later tweeted. "I had no idea no one knew..I'll tell them I stayed at a holiday inn express (sic) last night. Always works...."
7 of 20AP
The New York Liberty guard found herself in hot water after offering up an alternative explanation for the catastrophic Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in March: What if God was tired of the way they treated their own people in there own country! Idk guys he makes no mistakes. "u just never knw!" she tweeted later on. "They did pearl harbor so u can't expect anything less." Poindexter apologized the next day.
8 of 20AP
Many people had not heard of Twitter in March 2009 when Villanueva, then with the Milwaukee Bucks, caught flak for posting during halftime of a critical game: In da locker room, snuck to post my twitt. We're playing the Celtics, tie ball game at da half. Coach wants more toughness. I gotta step up. And step up he did, finishing with a team-high 19 points in an 86-77 victory over the Celtics. Villanueva wasn't fined for the tweet, though he did earn a stern talking-to from Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles.
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After dropping the winning touchdown pass in an eventual 19-16 overtime loss to the Steelers, the despondent Bills wide receiver seemed to blame God: I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO... The emotionally raw tweet made Johnson a hot topic of discussion from CNN.com's religion blog to The View .
10 of 20Kieran Doherty/Reuters
The English footballer, annoyed by the delay in his transfer from Tottenham to Sunderland, became the first Premier League player to find himself in hot water because of Twitter after firing off a foul-mouthed dispatch to Spurs chairman Daniel Levy: Do I wanna go Hull City NO. Do I wanna go stoke NO do I wanna go sunderland YES so stop f------ around levy. "Seriously getting p***** off now," Bent added. "Why can't anything be simple. It's so frustrating hanging round doing jack s***." The 25-year-old later apologized for the online rant on Tottenham's official website, citing frustration.
11 of 20Twitpic.com
Shortly before checking into a Houston rehabilitation hospital in August 2009, reportedly for substance abuse and depression issues, the Heat swingman caused a stir when he tweeted this photo: I told u, I'm still SupercoolBeas!!!!!!!!! http://twitpic.com/eovo8 It fueled reports that in the background of the picture there appeared to be two small bags of marijuana on a table.
12 of 20AP
When the word spread that LeBron had signed up for Twitter under @KingJames, the handle already had more than 100,000 followers before a single tweet was posted. And then, he spoke: Hello World, the Real King James is in the Building "Finally". My Brother @oneandonlycp3 gas'd me up to jump on board so I'm here. Haaaa The frenzy underscored Twitter's monumental penetration of the cultural mainstream. But the armchair psychologists had a field day with a subsequent dispatch: "Don't think for one min that I haven't been taking mental notes of everyone taking shots at me this summer. And I mean everyone!"
13 of 20David Klein/Sportimage/Cal Sport Media
When the Tottenham winger was withdrawn from the starting lineup moments before a crucial Champions League match against Real Madrid, manager Harry Redknapp explained Lennon hadn't felt well and wasn't fit enough to play. After Spurs lost 4-0, Lennon quickly turned to Twitter to rebut the tale: saying i fell ill be4 the game is bull**** i fell ill on sunday morning where the med team put me on anti botics, but only got worse b4 tues Lennon continued, saying: "Believe me this is 1 game I did no wnt to miss and still devo [devastated] now!!!! but will not be made a scapegoat saying they only knew jus b4 KO."
14 of 20AP
The Arkansas point guard quickly deleted this crass comment after posting it, but it was already too late: Im gettin it at workouts like a dude who doesnt understand the word no from a drunk girl lol The tweet was particularly insensitive given the climate on campus: Just weeks earlier, three of Fortson's teammates were accused of an alleged rape at a fraternity house.
15 of 20Mark J. Rebilas/US Presswire
On the eve of the annual grudge match between Oklahoma and Texas, the Sooners wideout was suspended indefinitely for this passing reference to a gunman who had commited suicide on the Austin campus: Hey everyone in Austin, tx.......kill yourself After handing down the punishment, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said the "rivalry with Texas will not come at the expense of dignity and respect."
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It was 3:07 a.m. in Miami when UNC's star defensive tackle sent the following tweet from a South Beach hot spot: I live In club LIV so I get the tenant rate. bottles comin like its a giveaway It was one of several posts that drew attention to Austin's lavish lifestyle -- and which ultimately led to Austin's suspension for his entire senior season due to NCAA violations involving extra benefits from agents, middlemen and marketing representatives.
17 of 20AP
After getting cut by the Dallas Cowboys, Owens blamed Tony Romo and Jason Garrett in a reply to a fan on Twitter: neither ws i, blame the OC & romo!! but i'm happy 2 b where i am but i miss the other guys tht were & r true teammates!! T.O. failed to distinguish himself in subsequent stints with Buffalo and Cincinnati.
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The ESPN.com columnist mistakenly tweeted two words -- intended as a direct message -- that sparked a trade rumor sending disgruntled New England wideout Randy Moss to Minnesota: moss vikings Simmons' tweet went viral and, just hours later, the trade was complete.
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Amid accusations that several Ohio State football players had traded signed memorabilia for tattoos and other favors from the owner of a local tattoo parlor, the Buckeyes quarterback made the following clarification: I paid for my tattoos. GoBucks Shortly after, Pryor and four teammates were suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season. He officially withdrew from the university in June after the resignation of head coach Jim Tressel. (Former Buckeye @Antoniopittman chimed in: "This osu tattoo stuff is silly. Cats been gettin hookups on tatts since back on 01.")
20 of 20Hans Deryk/Reuters
In an ostensible attempt to repair his broken image, Tiger Woods sent shock waves through cyberspace with his first tweet: What's up everyone. Finally decided to try out twitter! Within an hour, Woods had picked up more than 30,000 followers. Later that day, the total rose to upwards of 143,000. Woods' agent Mark Steinberg told CNBC's Darren Rovell that Woods "has taken it upon himself to use Twitter to stay connected with fans." No small matter for the famously insular golfer.
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