More often than not, athletes who get into trouble on Twitter are generally younger, more immature and less experienced in the ways of the world than their elders. Leave it to Steve Elkington to be the exception to the rule. Elk is currently awaiting potential disciplinary action over a rather strange social media outburst he unleashed early on Saturday. Elk is taking part in the Senior British Open at Royal Birkdale and apparently had a little extra time on his hands on Saturday.
Not surprisingly, all of the potentially offensive tweets have been removed from Elkington’s timeline. But, as we know, once something is posted on the internet, it’s pretty much around for eternity. One of the tweets was apparently directed towards people of Pakistani heritage, when Elkington posted “a couple of caddies got rolled by some Pakis, bad night for them.”
He didn’t stop there, however. He also went on a tirade against Southport, which is where Birkdale is located. Apparently Elkington wasn’t exactly fond of his surroundings during the event. “Things about Southport — fat tattooed guy, fat tattooed girl, trash, Pakistani robber guy, sh*t food,” was also a post that showed up on the veteran’s feed.
As you might guess, what followed next was what seems to be an insincere apology that blamed cultural differences for his offensive remarks. “Being Australian, I was unaware that my use of language in relation to the Pakistani people would cause offence,” the statement read. “But having been made aware I now deeply regret the use of that terminology. Southport is a beautiful place and I have enjoyed playing at Royal Birkdale as my positive content on Twitter has shown. My comments were borne out of frustration over what had happened to a colleague.”
When are people that are in the public eye going to learn that they need to be careful what they post on the internet? While social media is an incredible tool that athletes can use to connect with their fans, it can also be incredibly detrimental to their image when the inevitable social media meltdown happens.
We can only hope that Elkington’s apology was, indeed, sincere and cultural differences are at the root of the issue.