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Julio Rey Denied Team Transfer Due to Ancient Tweet

BBC
As human life has developed a more significant online presence, constant reminders that the internet is not written in pencil continue to surface. The notion that anyone can say something that they didn't actually mean, or regret saying in hindsight seems to lose validity when the statement in question has been carved into the online memorial wall. Old status updates, blog posts and tweets are often dredged up or misinterpreted in order to shame people and it's rarely ever fair, but this particular case is just beyond the pale.

Julio Rey (not to be confused with the long-distance Olympic runner) played as a winger for the group three Spanish team Pobla de Mafumet, up until the end of last season. He's since been scouted by Deportivo La Coruna, which is a pretty massive step up for his career. Or at least it would have been. The transfer seemed so certain that Rey had even taken pictures of himself in Deportivo kit, but on Friday the La Liga side revealed that the had cancelled it, on account of a tweet Rey posted in 2012.

If the tweet had been heavily prejudiced or distinctly horrible in any other way, it might have been at least vaguely understandable, but it simply said 'f*** Depor'. Rey had only been 17 when he tweeted that. It's difficult to say exactly why, but it was probably a reaction to a match result. In any case, the team have released a statement, which asserted that 'a player deserves to wear the blue and white shirt if he's an example of sportsmanship, respectful of their rivals, committed and has positive feelings toward Depor, its colours, it's crest and those values that represent this institution.'

Whilst it's never a particularly wise idea to badmouth a potential future employer, Rey could have had no notion that he would eventually be in with a chance of playing for the historic side, much less that they would take the time to dredge up a spur-of-the-moment tweet. I mean, I could be wrong, it could have all been part of an elaborate conspiracy to sabotage Deportivo from within, but I think we can all agree that that's a bit of a reach.

What it does call into question is exactly how accountable people should be for what they say online, and what constitutes an appropriate reaction. Blocking a 3rd division player from the opportunity of a lifetime because of something he said while his voice was still breaking is not an appropriate reaction. It is infantile, overblown and cruel. Feel free to quote me on that if I'm ever in with a chance of getting signed to Deportivo. 

In the age of information a culture has emerged where questioning someone's credibility on the basis of a single statement is deemed perfectly acceptable. Sometimes a particularly vitriolic rant can offer an insight into someone's ugly side, but is it enough to condemn them, ever? Some people on Tumblr think that anyone who was ever racist online deserves to lose their job. I strongly disagree. This unfortunate ugly side of online presence needs to be extinguished, social justice is important but nobody has any right to ruin somebody else's life in the basis of one inflammatory statement.


Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Julio Rey Denied Team Transfer Due to Ancient Tweet Reviewed by Callum Davies on Monday, July 27, 2015 Rating: 5

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