Turns out, the photo C.J. liked was posted by an alt-right group.
In the past week, C.J. and the Rangers have had to deal with this nonsense because we’re in 2018, and mistakes are not to be rectified but crucified over and over again.
Nonetheless, both Nitkowksi and Jeffcoat, whose controversially-phrased email to a recruit went viral, both must own the following: They represent not just their own names, but the brand of their respective organizations. That's where they goofed, and where everyone in these types of positions must be smarter.
But here in 2018, we all now must swallow our daily dose of outrage, real or imagined.
The outrage at Nitkowski is quite imagined. The Rangers were annoyed, whereas Texas Wesleyan was irate.
The only reason to even visit this story now is a public service announcement that there is no such thing as being too careful, and we all need to get over ourselves, and reduce our time on social media. That goes for C.J. That goes for me. That goes for the President of the United States.
Season 2 of the award-winning Titletown, TX video series is coming January 2018. Meet the Texas Wesleyan University football team. Jared Christopherjchristopher@star-telegram.com
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The photo in question that Nitkowski liked is posted by an organization called, “The Proud Boys.”
Never heard of 'em.
The group apparently is an alt-right organization; its Twitter profile states: “I am a Western Chauvinist and I Refuse to Apologize for Creating the Modern World. The West is Best!”
The Twitter page boasts nearly 23,000 followers, which had included C.J.
This does not mean he’s an alt-right guy.
Social media is an open forum of ideas and unfiltered conversation. I follow plenty of people I don’t agree with simply to hear another side.
Twitter is the perfect recipe for error. The slightest touch and you’re following someone and you don’t even know it. A push and you “liked” something you didn’t mean to like.
In the case of the photo, one of the women’s hockey players was making a three-finger gesture below her belt. The sign is part of a long-established game where if you see that sign, the person can give you a slight punch in the arm. Or something stupid like that.
Apparently, however, the same gesture has been used to signify white supremacy.
Boom goes the dynamite on C.J., and all over the Rangers.
In the past few days, C.J. wiped out his Twitter profile. The Rangers had to issue a statement. He had to issue a statement.
The Rangers had to have a talkin’ to to their TV color analyst.
The only real mistake in this was the scenario was Nitkowski's exchange with a reporter from The Athletic when the writer in question took what Nikowski believed to be an off-the-record comment and ran it.
C.J. never meant those words to be public, and the reporter simply misunderstood.
Take Nitkowski at his word: He just meant to like a photo of the women's hockey team. I don't believe that he endorses alt-right ideology.
Quite frankly, anyone who has listened to him for 10 minutes would know he's too smart for that.
Nonetheless, he must know, and act, as someone who calls 100 games on television for the Rangers he represents their brand beyond his own name.
No one outside of a small community had any clue Texas Wesleyan had a baseball team, until Wednesday when a recruit from Colorado made public Jeffcoat's stupid email to him.
For whatever reason you might want to write that email. You never send that email. Not unless you are ready to set fire to that bridge, and are ready to be fired.
Jeffcoat is a nice guy who made his living coaching a little NAIA baseball team in east Fort Worth, and lost his job for what?
He couldn't help but let his political feelings be known in a letter to a recruit.
As the head coach of a team, he represents his university. There is a time and a place for political rhetoric, and such a letter is neither the time nor the place.
He has to know better.
Jeffcoat didn't just accidentally touch a "like" button. He wrote a long letter that contained volatile, political rhetoric to someone he did not know.
Both guys have to know we're in 2018, and these are the consequences.