Former Dallas Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens was always a polarizing figure (which is why he was shut out of the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility a couple weeks ago), and usually, tweeting is a bad idea for such polarizing athletes.
But Owens believes his image might have actually been helped by social media being as prominent as it is now—which sounds crazy, but let’s hear him out.
"Where social media is now, if it was really that way back then I would have been able to dispute or dispel some of those things,” Owens told Ticketstock 2016 over the weekend, per the Dallas Morning News. “The media is very, very powerful. I realize the way that people perceive me now is based on the media's inaccurate portrayal of who I was. [Social media] is now a platform for a lot of guys to dispute or dispel anything that's going on out there. There's no middle man.
“Had I been able to have that platform, there were times where I did interviews where I tried to defend myself, but with a lot of people that don't know much about the media, there's something called editing. So they edit it the way they want it portrayed and for people to see it across the country, so that's how it all happened."
This all sounds reasonable in theory, but even if social media had been more developed in Owens’ prime, it’s hard to believe he would be viewed a universally beloved figure. In fact, the only instance we can remember Owens trying to clear something up on Twitter, it was the season after he was cut by Dallas 2009, and he was retweeting a fan who said the Cowboys had a Tony Romo problem—not a T.O. problem.
And, yeah, that tweet didn’t make him a whole lot more likable in the eyes of Cowboys fans.