Traveling. Palming. Charging. Goaltending. Double dribble. These are all considered fouls in basketball. You know what else can be foul? Social media. WNBA star, Elena Delle Donne, is learning this lesson better than most. On Friday, July 7, the Washington Mystics player was watching Lakers rookie, Lonzo Ball, play in his first summer league, all the while sporting $495 shoes.
She decided to take to Twitter and tweet, “How great would it be if (Lonzo Ball) would blow his shoe in his first summer league game? Should have gone with @Nike.”
Delle Donne, who has her own exclusive shoe with Nike, didn’t realize how much she would be tripping over her own two feet, falling into social media backlash. Her tweet compiled 2,000 likes, 800 retweets, and 459 comments, which were almost entirely negative. People were wishing she’d tear her ACL and get injured herself.
She quickly explained, “It was a joke, I like to mess around, I think of myself as a kind of funny person. All the hype around the BBBs. How many times have athletes blown out a shoe? A shoe? Not talking injury. People were taking it like I wanted him to get hurt. Are you kidding me? I want him to have a great future. It’s so funny. One joke and it’s like, phew. Guess he’s got a lot of fans already.”
Delle Donne clarified to her critics that she never wanted Ball to get hurt. She in fact, really likes him, just not his shoes. She has been active on Twitter for the past couple of years, engaging with fans, all in good spirit. In this case, however, she felt people were twisting her words, taking her tweet to a place she didn’t want.
“Most of the time I look at it and go, ‘Oh, my gosh’ and let it go,” she said. “But when it gets to a point where they take it out of context with me wanting him to get injured, absolutely not! I have to correct that. I would never wish that on any human being. That’s where you get a little frustrated by it. I didn’t say that. So don’t take my words and stretch it to something that it’s not,” proclaimed Donne.
That’s social media for you. It can be one slippery slope. You have to always make sure you have your laces tied tight. Delle Donne may be used to promoting Nike with their catchy slogan “Just Do It” but in this particular matter, “Just Don’t Do It.”
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-Haley Corkery │ Public Relations Specialist