Social networking has become the biggest pain to both professional athletes and the leagues they belong to. Recently Knick guard JR Smith was fined 25,000 dollars for a "threatening" tweet in response to another player who called out the Knicks for signing JR Smith's brother who isn't talented enough to be in the Association. Tampa Bay Ray pitcher David Price got fined for tweeting negatively about umpires. I'm waiting for the day where professional teams ban their players from using social networks. Social networks can be used as tools where players can interact with the public, but when a player takes to Twitter to announce that umpires don't know what they're talking about or threatening other players that's when things go awry. Leagues do have social networking policies in place, but none of that controls when a player gets emotional and goes on a 140 character rant.
Before the explosion of social networks players didn't have the outlets that current players have, so if a player was upset at something there was no Twitter or Facebook where a player could vent and make themselves or their team look bad. Along those lines professional athletes had much more privacy back in the day, they had more freedom to do whatever they wanted to without having someone posting pictures to Twitter and having ones dirty laundry aired out in mere seconds. I agree with players who have decided not to join Twitter they're able to be angry and not get fined 20,000 dollars for every thoughtless Tweet.