Christina Kim wanted to communicate with her fans.
She’s the one that opened the Twitter account.
And now, she’s feeling the wrath of those some people she welcomed into her own little private world.
Welcome to the complexities of social media, Ms. Kim.
For background purposes, Kim was a member of the U.S. Solheim Cup team last weekend, a group of 12 players from the LPGA Tour representing America in a 3-day golf event against a group of 12 European professionals. The U.S. women won the event (played in Illinois) and Kim was an integral part of the team’s successful effort.
In the world of professional golf, The Solheim Cup is a fairly big deal. It’s played every other year and alternates between the U.S. and Europe. It’s the Ryder Cup divided by 10, but it’s still a VERY significant event for the women’s professional golf circuit.
Last weekend, and mainly on Sunday, Christina Kim was embarrassing to her profession. That MIGHT be being kind, frankly.
Kim’s overzealous, maniacal behavior after hitting a good shot or a birdie putt was so far over the line there’s no real definition for how she conducted herself during the event.
A fist pump when you sink a putt that’s important? Sure. Every player on the PGA or LPGA Tour would react accordingly if they were to roll in from 12 feet on the 17th or 18th hole that put them in the lead or clinched a victory.
Jumping up and down on the green…dancing around like Kevin Bacon in Footloose (a bad version of Bacon, in fact)…running on the green and shouting at the fans — on the 3rd hole? Absolutely, without question, uncalled for and unnecessary.
I think we all can agree on that. Those of us that follow golf were appalled on Sunday. True fact: I rooted AGAINST the American team on Sunday afternoon because of the way Kim and some of her teammates behaved in the final singles round.
The temporary tattoos on their face and their ankles were one thing. Their red, white and blue hair ribbons were patriotic and acceptable. It being a U.S. vs. Europe event, it’s understandable that pride for your country shines through.
Embarrassing you and your country with bush-league antics, though, shined through more than the patriotism.
And now, here’s the story for Tuesday, two days after the event’s conclusion.
Christina Kim, through the social media outlet Twitter, has gone to battle with her fans. Here’s her Twitter home page.
Over the last 48 hours, Kim’s page has been peppered with tweets from her followers (of which, I’m one, but didn’t tweet her…) who were also ashamed of her antics over the weekend.
Some of the tweets are constructive. Some of them are good natured pokes at over-reacting. And some are downright mean and VERY personal.
And Christina Kim is taking ALL of them on, through Twitter, and dealing with them by either threatening a twitter “block” or replying to them personally.
She’s NOT going to win this one.
When you open your Twitter account – particularly as an athlete/celebrity – you do so for the purpose of not only allowing people to follow you and your daily routine, but you give them a license (implied, perhaps, but a license nonetheless) to rattle your cage if they feel like doing so.
Your followers are always in contact with you…through the good, the bad and the ugly.
Kim and a number of LPGA players (along with PGA TOUR players and other athletes) are active “tweeters” and have opened themselves up to this kind of communicative embrace where some people like them — and some don’t.
Christina Kim’s behavior over the weekend was absurd. She wasn’t the only one, by the way. But she was the most visible, for sure.
And if her battles on Twitter are any indication, she’s the one getting the most heat this week.
It used to be when an athlete stepped out of line, the media took him or her to task for their misgivings.
It’s a new world now — your own FANS are calling you out.
And they’re doing it because they can.
That’s Twitter. And Facebook. And MySpace.
Everyone’s available to be talked to, almost at a moment’s notice.
The only problem arises when what you read or hear isn’t what you thought you’d be reading or hearing.
And that’s Christina Kim’s world today.