There’s a fine art to Twitter – especially when you have the backing of an incredibly successful professional rugby club. It’s fair to say that Sale Sharks didn’t quite get their social media game right on Thursday, with one particular tweet about Mike Brown drawing plenty of criticism.
The Sharks account tweeted out a short clip of an excellent piece of skill from loose forward Ben Curry, who was one of Sale’s best performers in their Premiership Cup final win over Harlequins last Monday.
The clip showed Curry making the most of some ragged defence after receiving the ball shortly after a kick-off by chipping ahead and tearing off down the field in pursuit.
Curry, 22, managed to outpace the turning Harlequins defence and reclaim the ball but the play ultimately came to nothing.
It wasn’t the content of the clip that had some calling the tweet “embarrassing” and “unprofessional”. It was the message accompanying the video, which highlighted Curry “dusting and [sic] England Rugby full-back”.
— Sale Sharks? (@SaleSharksRugby) September 24, 2020
Brown, 35, who had to turn and chase the ball, was the full-back in question and social media users have chastised the Sale account for framing the clip around how Curry bested Brown instead of simply highlighting the flanker’s excellent skill set.
Brown, who was tagged in the Sale tweet, responded by saying “Luckily (the social media poster is) not a representation of how (the players) are.”
Nice humility ??
Well done to your players for the win, well deserved. Luckily you’re not a representation of how they are.
— Mike Brown (@mikebrown_15) September 24, 2020
Users of the social media platform were quick to take sides, with the majority suggesting that the Tweet was poorly thought out and in ill-taste.
As a Sale old boy I’m embarrassed by this..
It’s bad enough having a star above the badge for the *Prem* win when the rest of the league has it for winning Europe ?
— Gareth Reynolds (@garethreynolds) September 24, 2020
Petty and unprofessional from Sale, particularly as they can’t even get the wording in their jibe right. #embarrassing
— Neil Winter (@1NeilWinter) September 24, 2020
Sharks , you won the game fair and square , be proud of that and promote the good work of your team , no need to disrespect our players . #rugbyvalues
— Quinssa (@QuinssaRugby) September 24, 2020
Distinct lack of class demonstrated by who ever is control of the @SaleSharksRugby twitter account. Sure praise you own, but no need for the dig.
— Andrew Charles (@MrA_Charles) September 24, 2020
A number of users also suggested that the Sale account needed to take a leaf out of Bristol Bears’ book, whose social media work has been widely praised in recent times.
You need the Bristol Bears team to show you how it’s done bab.
— Danny Ingram (@DannyIngram1) September 24, 2020
The issue is is that @BristolBears do social media so well and teams are now trying to copy and getting it very very wrong.
— Tom Arkell (@t20media) September 24, 2020
— Andrew Briggs (@chogger5) September 24, 2020
Brown wasn’t the only high-profile Twitter user to respond to the tweet, with the Harlequins and Saracens club accounts jumping in to respond.
— Saracens Rugby Club (@Saracens) September 24, 2020
As of Friday morning, the tweet had not been deleted. However, there were many suggestions from Twitter users that the Sharks should quickly remove the tweet and apologise for their poor form.
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now