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NFL: No Tweeting for Players, Media, Officials

The Associated Press (via ESPN) reports that the National Football League officially banned its players from using social networks during game time. More specifically, players may not use Twitter, Facebook, or other social media applications ninety minutes before kickoff and during the game. Players are thus allowed to Tweet away after the game following the traditional media interviews.

However, according to the report, the ban isn't anything new, and now the NFL is broadening its social rule to other game-related groups. In addition to restricting players from using social applications, anyone else representing the player for personal Twitter, Facebook or any other social media account are now banned as well. The restrictions also apply to the press and other media attending the game, preventing them from sending updates via Facebook and other outlets.

"Longstanding policies prohibiting play-by-play descriptions of NFL games in progress apply fully to Twitter and other social media platforms," the NFL said in its statement. "Internet sites may not post detailed information that approximates play-by-play during a game."

The NFL originally implemented the ban after players began using the social applications during touchdown celebrations.

  • grieve
    I think this is reasonable...

    They are working, It's not like they are saying no Facebook in your free time.
  • NFL's rules here are antiquated. They players and their connection to their fans are the most valuable resource and they stand to alienate fans of the players by getting in between the two.
    It's clear that this is about saving jucy post-game comments for the press that has paid the NFL-tax, but this is not going to work in the long term. Social media and celebrity-to-fan direct communications beyond just sports is here to stay.
    I'll be checking which NFL players are tweeting both before and after the game on my new favorite iPhone app: "Realtime Pro Football '09"
  • nitto555rchallenger
    I can see the officials have to stay neutral for the purpose of the game, but only allowing player tweet or facebook after tv interviews is a way for the channels/stations to make money on commercials, so stay tuned in after the break sort of deal. Cuz we all know we want to hear a defensive player talk smack about getting that big hit on the QB or that touchdown catch from a receiver. Yeah you can work, but tweeting during the game could be another side into the mind of the player in real time that you can't catch while watching the game. But some of us don't have time to watch the interview after watching a game almost 2+ hours or it gets cut off due to the next game is about to start, like I care about the coin toss jez.
  • jellico
    Actually, there's another reason why this is the case. Players tweeting during games could be monitored by opposing teams possibly giving them an advantage that could affect the outcome of the game.
  • It not just the juicy "tidbits" of information. Sadly, some of the players are stupid enough to put up game data and other information that should not be released to the public during play. How can you have your mind in the game when you are chatting up some body online while you are on the sidelines. All they are saying is, no posting online before a game. Although the NFL does create some truly bonehead rules, this isn't one of them.

    Now if they can just get them to stop carrying around loaded weapons in their pants pockets and blowing their nuts off we could get back to football.
  • SamanuelMC
    game data and other information that should not be released to the public

    It's football, what could they possibly have to hide from the public? Or do they have some secret satellite in orbit like MLB does a la The Simpsons?
  • tenor77
    This isn't about information they shouldn't be giving up, this is about the NFL wanting to control every aspect of the sport, including how it's reported.