at Verizon Center on January 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

The NBA is considered fairly progressive compared to the other major sports leagues. Pro sports teams sometimes like to troll opposing players and teams to gain followers.

But despite both of these facts, the NBA wants teams and players to cool it with the trolling on social media. The NBA made this belief known through a league memo Thursday (which was unsurprisingly leaked). This comes after a number of Twitter beefs involving players and teams.

Here’s what the NBA said to teams on Thursday:

“While we understand that the use of social media by teams, including during games, is an important part of our business, the inappropriate use of social media can damage the reputation of the NBA, its teams and its players,” NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum wrote in the memo obtained by “Recently, social media postings (e.g., on Twitter) by some teams have crossed the line between appropriate and inappropriate. In addition to other concerns, such conduct by teams can result in ‘Twitter wars’ between players that can cause further reputational damage and subject players to discipline by the League

“As a result, we want teams to be aware of the NBA’s rules with respect to the use of social media by teams. As with in-game entertainment, teams are prohibited from mocking and/or ridiculing opponents (including teams, players, team personnel (including owners) and opponents’ home cities) and game officials on social media in any form, including through statements, pictures or videos.”

One of the examples the league cited was likely a spat between Chandler Parsons and C.J. McCollum — a social media war that got out of hand very quickly.

This spoof seemed to be more in line with what the league was saying as the memo continued:

Tatum’s memo included three bullet points specifying what would be considered inappropriate material for team social media accounts:

  • Disparage, belittle or embarrass an individual opponent or game official
  • Mimic or impersonate an opponent or game official in a negative manner
  • Criticize officiating or the NBA officiating program

The memo that never ends continues:

“In addition, teams should never disparagingly or negatively refer to an opponent’s or game official’s personal life, family, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or any other status or characteristic protected by law,” the memo continued. “Teams are also prohibited from using social media to highlight or encourage player altercations, flagrant fouls or hard physical contact between players, or to condone or make light of violence in any way or form.

“Teams may use social media for fun and lighthearted banter that does not reflect poorly on any team, player, other team or League personnel, or the League as a whole. However, such activity cannot become inappropriate or offensive. As such, we encourage teams to properly and extensively train their social media staff members to ensure that they know what kind of postings are appropriate and what kind are not.”

So, basically, the league is telling teams to stop trolling for attention. I don’t mind this at all. Teams just love doing this sort of B.S. for retweets. There are other ways to be funny. Try those instead.


About Ryan Williamson

Ryan is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri and has recently returned to his Minnesota roots. He previously has worked for the Columbia Missourian, KFAN radio in Minneapolis and Feel free to email me at rwilliamson29 AT Gmail dot com.

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