Yesterday after the Steelers upset the Chiefs in an AFC playoff game, Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown decided to go on Facebook Live from the locker room to celebrate with his fans. And the fans loved it – he went live for 17 minutes and had almost 900,000 views within just a few hours, before the video was deleted.
A player using technology to celebrate directly with his fans in real-time. Great, right? Not so much.
A few things. First, the NFL’s social media policy prohibits players from using any form of social media starting 90 minutes before the game starts, up until after the post-game press conference end. While no fine has been announced yet, ESPN’s Adam Schefter noted the a league official said Brown “could be fined” for the video stream.
Secondly, the NFL’s broadcast partners are contractually the only ones allowed to shoot video in the locker room after a game – teams and even the league itself can’t even use that footage until 24 hours after the game ends. And while this incident probably isn’t big enough for NBC (who broadcasted the game) to complain to the NFL, it’s definitely a sign of potential issues in the future as livestreaming becomes a more important part of our social media culture.
And lastly, NFL locker rooms are traditionally pretty off-limits when it comes to the press and access to the outside world. Football is a competitive sport, and confidential plays, speeches and interactions give teams the advantage they need to win. So you could imagine how upset the Steelers were when they found out that the Facebook Live broadcast captured audio of Head Coach Mike Tomlin’s post game speech happening in the background.
Tomlin’s very NSFW speech (which you can find on YouTube) was basically a minute long rant against the Patriots (and their Microsoft Surface hating coach Bill Belichick), who the Steelers will play next week. While I’m sure stuff like this is being said in all 32 locker rooms across the league, it’s still a bad look for Tomlin and the team.
Oh, and of course Belichick was asked what he thought of the incident, since his team was the one getting trash talked. And in typical fashion his response was about as un-technologically savvy as it gets – saying that he’s “not on SnapFace”, and not worried about what they put on InstantChat”.