EXCLUSIVE: After the weekend's homophobia-row tweets by Adelaide United's Antony Golec, one former A-League star has warned players not to let emotions get the better of them on social media.
Defender Golec, 21, is in hot water after tweeting a rant against A-League referee Ben Williams peppered with references to his sexuality on Saturday night.
Williams was officiating in the heated 2-2 draw between Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar at Etihad Stadium, a match where he dismissed Victory keeper Ante Covic and Matthew Foschini both before half-time.
Like many Victory fans inside the stadium, Golec was incensed by the dismissals while watching the match on Fox Sports.
The former Sydney FC youth player sent out two tweets, which the club later claimed were intended to be private messages to his brother - but were instead seen by all his hundreds of followers.
In the first tweet, he described Williams as the 'worst referee ever', but then went a step further, using homosexual references as a means of abusing the official.
One of the first A-League identities on Twitter was Lawrie McKinna. He joined the social media platform as coach of Central Coast and now has over 2000 followers.
These days he is a media personality but said if he was in the A-League he would be bound by a code of conduct. And that’s what players need to understand.
“You have to understand what your job is and what the outcome could be. Sometimes you maybe want to say something but because of your contract you can’t say what you feel like.
“I know the fans want to hear what you say but you have a code of conduct and you have to stick by it.. so sometimes you have to just take a deep breath.
“I can say on Twitter I think the referee’s had a poor game but I’m not employed at a club. If I was I wouldn’t do it. I’d overstep the line.”
Former Sydney FC star Mark Rudan said players need to understand the ramifications of what you write on Twitter and other social media.
Rudan, who recently joined Twitter, said football was a passionate sport but that has to be taken out of what you tweet.
“You’ve just got to be carerful and take the emotion out of it sometimes," he told au.fourfourtwo.com.
A week earlier Golec’s side were thumped 7-1 by Roar, perhaps adding to the player's anger as he watched the referee issue two reds.
“We all get emotional watching games whether that’s on the field or off it," said Rudan. "One thing to remember once you write something, it’s there forever, so just remember that.
“People can always go look back to what you wrote be it yesterday or longer, people will always know what you wrote. So be careful what you write.
“Sometimes referees don’t get it right but we all have to understand that. And perhaps that second red card to Foschini disrupted the game."
Adelaide United have already required Golec to send a letter of apology to Williams before meeting with club chief executive Glenn Elliott today.
Sanctions are expected and the club are said to be furious about the tweets.The FFA have also yet to rule on the embarrassing debacle, but Golec may face a charge of bringing the game into disrepute.
Adelaide United are reportedly now considering a Twitter ban for all players at the club.
But McKinna belive all players wioll have learnt an important lessons from the row.
He added: "There are still certain things that you can and can't do and the players all know that. My advice is to just take a deep breath first..."