“What we tell [prospects] is, ‘Be yourself and be interesting, but don’t be controversial,'” Michael DiLorenzo, the NHL’s manager of social media and business communications, told CBC this week. “Think twice before you post anything, but stay away from hot-button topics, like politics.”
In a conversation with CBC, DiLorenzo discussed the league’s philosophy regarding players using social media in the wake of Raffi Torres‘ controversial Halloween costume that appeared in a tweet by Coyotes teammate Paul Bissonnette.
Torres and his wife dressed up as Jay-Z and Beyonce, sparking controversy and a discussion about whether or not the costume was racially insensitive.
But generally, while he did not address the Torres photo directly, DiLorenzo is not too worried about NHL players getting themselves into trouble online.
“I’m not concerned, and part of the reason is that tweets that made me look twice are few and far between,” he said.
DiLorenzo also pointed out the positive impact that the NHL has felt from the proliferation of social media among its players.
“In the first few months of this year, we’re seeing a spike in players’ adoption [of Twitter],” he said. “Over time, guys are getting better with their own use and seeing how their peers are using it. This is having a positive effect on our social businesses: NHL.com, GameCenter, even online sales at our NHL store.”
He also snuck in a not-so-subtle jab at the NFL, noting, “[NHL] players are so high character, so modest to a fault, that we don’t have to deal with so-called ‘wide-receiver’ issues … [However], it is incumbent on the league and teams to counsel and guide players, just as how we provide guidance on how to face the camera.”