The Rundown

The sporting world’s top Twitter Twits

The Rundown

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Earlier this week Oxford City striker Lee Steele was sacked for making a homophobic remark on Twitter about Gareth Thomas.

Thomas announced he was gay in 2009 and Steele tweeted while watching the former Welsh rugby star appearing on Celebrity Big Brother that he "wouldn't fancy the bed next to Gareth Thomas #padlock my a**e".

Oxford sacked the player saying that "his recent comment via social media (was) considered seriously contrary to the ethos of the club."

Also this week, Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was forced to apologies after saying on the social networking site that his team-mate Aaron Ramsey "looked like a rapist" in a photo that he posted, while last week snooker ace Ronnie O'Sullivan confirmed he was in trouble for a comment he made about the Imogen Thomas / Ryan Giggs sex scandal on his Twitter page.

Sports stars making a fool of themselves on Twitter is hardly a new phenomenon though as our rundown of 10 more Twitter faux pas demonstrates.


The Culprit: Former Liverpool footballer Ryan Babel (now with Hoffenheim)

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The Twitter crime: Babel posted a picture of referee Howard Webb mocked up wearing a Manchester United jersey in the aftermath of Liverpool's FA Cup exit to their great rivals.
The Aftermath:
Babel became the first Premier League player to be charged with improper conduct over the use of Twitter. He was fined £10,000 but avoided a ban.


The Culprit: Three-time Olympic gold medal winning swimmer Stephanie Rice

The Twitter crime: Rice tweeted "Suck on that faggots!" after watching Australia beat South Africa in a rugby match on television.

The Aftermath: Rice had to make an emotional public apology saying she had learned a huge lesson. One of her main sponsors, Jaguar, ditched her after the tweet.


The Culprit: NFL star Rashard Mendenhall of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Twitter crime: The star running-back posted a series of tweets after the death of Osama Bin Laden, which he called a "murder," where he implied that he didn't believe hijacked planes caused the collapse of the World Trade Center, and that people shouldn't celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden.

The Aftermath: While not retracting his comments, Mendenhall did apologise for "the timing (of) such a sensitive matter," and "to anyone I unintentionally harmed with anything that I said, or any hurtful interpretation that was made and put in my name." He lost a sponsorship deal with apparel company Champion, who said his comments were "inconsistent with the values of the Champion brand and with which we strongly disagreed."


The Culprit: Former Tottenham striker Darren Bent (now at Aston Villa)

The Twitter crime: Bent was unhappy with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy as he looked to force through his desired move to Sunderland. He tweeted: "Do I wanna go Hull City. No. Do I wanna go Stoke. No. Do I wanna go Sunderland. Yes. So stop ******* around Levy."

The Aftermath: Tottenham fined Bent £80,000 for his comments but he did at least get his desired move to Sunderland. He enjoyed a successful 18 months with the Black Cats before moving to Aston Villa.


The Culprit: Gloucester and Samoa rugby star Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu

The Twitter crime: Fuimaono-Sapolu almost got himself thrown out of the World Cup after citing slavery and the holocaust while blasting Samoa's fixture congestion in New Zealand. "It's obvious the IRB are unjust. Wales get seven days, we get three. Unfair treatment, like slavery, like the holocaust, like apartheid," he tweeted.  He also produced tweets blasting two referees — calling one a "racist" and then saying of the other: "I would say the referee was a joke but I'd probably get  fined for it so I won't"

The aftermath: Fuimaono-Sapolu got a warning for his first tweet but was then given a six-month suspended sentence for his first referee criticism. His second referee blast was at the domestic, as opposed to international, level and led to a three-match ban.


The Culprit: England cricket star Kevin Pietersen

The Twitter crime: The batsman caused a storm with a four-letter blast aimed at Englan

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Kevin Pietersen

d selectors for dropping him in August 2010, in which he said, "Done for rest of summer!! Man of the World Cup T20 and dropped from the T20 side too. Its a f**k up!!"

The Aftermath: The tweet was removed soon after, but Pietersen was slapped with an undisclosed fine for "a significant breach of the England player conditions of employment."


The Culprit: West Ham striker Carlton Cole

The Twitter crime: While watching England play Ghana at Wembley on television, Cole said: "Immigration has surrounded the Wembley premises! I knew it was a trap! Hahahaha."

The Aftermath: Cole admitted a charge of improper conduct at an FA regulatory hearing and was warned about his future behaviour. He was also fined £20,000


The Culprit: USA striker Jozy Altidore, formerly with Hull City

The Twitter crime: Altidore was left out of a Premier League clash against Portsmouth for turning up late and let everyone know on Twitter by tweeting: "Apologise to all of you. I showed up late. Made a big mistake I'm very very sorry".

The Aftermath: Then Hull manager Phil Brown fined the American saying: "That for me is information that stays in house. The reason he wasn't on the bench was our business."


The Culprit: Dutch international footballer Gregory van der Wiel

The Twitter crime: The Ajax star was unable to travel with the Dutch squad for a match in Australia in 2009 because of a concussion obtained while playing for Ajax. However, while the Dutch were away he decided to go and see Lil' Wayne in concert, something he didn't exactly hide by posting pictures of him with the rapper on his Twitter page.

The Aftermath: Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk was furious saying: "It's rather strange that he was able to go to a concert, given that he told me that he was not allowed to fly by the Ajax medical staff" but did not punish him. Then Ajax manager Martin Jol also said the incident was blown out of proportion by the Dutch media.


The Culprit: NFL star Chad Ochocinco

The Twitter crime: Ochocinco posted a forceful, yet not too damning tweet, that read: "Man Im sick of getting hit like that , its the damn preseason [expletive]! 1day I'm gone jump up and start throwing hay makers , #Tylenolplease," — but the problem wasn't so much the words, but rather that he posted the tweet DURING the match.

The Aftermath: The NFL fined him $25,000 for the incident and Ochocinco apologised — on Twitter of course.

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