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J.J. Watt Warns Prospective Stars on Dangers of Social Media

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Is there anything this man can’t do? Houston Texans sack machine, J.J. Watt, is already a master motivator, a disciplined worker, the league’s most explosive player, and the reigning champion of the NFL Network’s official Top 100 list.

Now he can add life coach to that resume after some choice words for the nation’s most promising high school athletes as presenter at the annual Gatorade Athlete of the Year ceremony in Los Angeles.

Watt especially focused on the pitfalls of social media and the importance of recognising that every post, picture and playful joke disclosed on platforms like Twitter and Instagram affect the public’s perception of you as a role model.

“Read each tweet about 95 times before you send it,” Watt advised using his trademark dry humour. “Look at every Instagram post about 95 times before you send it. A reputation takes years and years and years to build, and it takes one press of a button to ruin. So don’t let that happen to you. Just be very smart about it.”

This is not to say that Watt’s comments are ill advised, but the irony is nonetheless amusing. It was Watt himself who distanced a small group of fans with his seemingly holier-than-thou attitude towards division rival quarterback Zach Mettenberger last season.

Watt took exception to the rookie’s propensity for social media selfies on the week he was named the Titans starter. Watt reminded Mettenberger that he was no longer in “high school”, and that he’d be a “little bit more focused than that” if he found himself in the same position.

Neither man exactly committed the worst offence in the league’s history, but as they say, if you’re good enough, nobody will care. Two sacks and one selfie celebration of his own later, Watt’s comments were buried under another mound of praise.

Regardless, his advice is well-timed in a modern age where retweets and  profile pics can reveal more about an individual in eight seconds than the most in depth interview can over eight pages.

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