The most vile person on social media can often seem almost un-human. And yet more often than not, on the sending end of a crazy, offensive, out-of-proportion or all-out psychotic tweet is often a regular old person with a job, a family, friends, and a warped sense of what is an appropriate way to communicate online.
That brings us to the No. 53 pick in the NFL Draft last week, with which the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by general manager Jason Licht, selected North Carolina defensive back M.J. Stewart. That choice was awfully frustrating to Houston-based Bucs fan Mike Rogers, who fired off a series of angry tweets, including one that has prompted team security to investigate whether Licht’s life was in danger.
On Friday night, shortly after the Bucs selected North Carolina defensive back M.J. Stewart with the No. 53 overall pick in the second round, Rogers posted a series of angry tweets, including one that appeared to cross the line.
The tweet featured a GIF of a murder scene from the 1990 film King of New York depicting a drug lord killing a New York City Police Department narcotics officer with blood splattering inside the vehicle.
Rogers, using his Twitter handle @LuvDemNoles22, wrote above the GIF: “When I see Jason Licht next time I roll through Tampa.”
The Times tracked down Rogers, and from the sound of it, he’s a pretty normal dude when he’s not egregiously overreacting to draft picks he doesn’t like.
“Yes, that was a total exaggeration,” Rogers, 38, told the Times. “Just caught up in the moment. It was just a tasteless tweet. I’m not a psychopath.”
It turns out Rogers was mostly annoyed the Bucs hadn’t taken Florida State defensive back Derwin James in the first round. Here is his draft analysis, as told to the Times.
“I wanted (Quenton) Nelson really bad, but then he went off right before us,” Rogers said, referring to the former Notre Dame guard taken No. 6 overall by the Colts. “Then we traded back. James was still there and a huge position of need. I mean we have (Chris) Conte back, and he’s a huge liability in my opinion. I also think James not working out for teams hurt his stock, but I don’t blame him. They have tape and combine to go off of.”
ESPN points out that a person found guilty of communicating a threat to kidnap or injure a person in interstate or foreign commerce can face up to five years in federal prison. Probably not what Rogers had in mind when he pressed “send.”
The lesson here is probably to never tweet. And if you must tweet, try not to tweet death threats at people just because you disagree with their evaluation of football players.