Mehno: Some athletes still struggle on social media


PITTSBURGH — The NFL scouting combine was in full swing last week, a chance for potential buyers to size up the livestock.

Aside from measuring the measurables, the NFL teams try to get some insight into the character of the players they’ll soon be drafting.

Is he a hard worker? Is he a responsible person? Is he intelligent? Is he likely to show up for work on time? Does he hang out with troublemakers?

Here’s another question that’s become relevant in 2018: What is his presence on social media?

That’s become an issue for a lot of teams, including the Steelers. Martavis Bryant was suspended for a game last season because one of his social media posts was judged inappropriate by the team.

Antonio Brown got in trouble once for doing a live Facebook feed from the locker room. Santonio Holmes helped punch his ticket out of town by using social media to tell a critic to kill himself.

Just last week, Sean Davis turned up in the news. Davis, a second-year safety, was the target of a lawsuit filed by a local family.

The parents allege Davis took a video of their son working at Chick-fil-A in Cranberry and added the commentary, “Chick-fil-A got little kids. This kid like eight years old. No wonder the lines be so long at Chick-fil-A.”

Doesn’t seem like much, but the family views it as libel and cyber bullying, accompanied by claims the son has been ridiculed and bullied at school because of the post.

The family says it doesn’t want money. They asked Davis to record a public service announcement opposing bullying. Davis’ lawyers countered by offering an invitation to Steelers’ training camp and a football camp in Washington D.C. that Davis holds.

Neither settlement was accepted.

All we have are unanswered questions: Does a slow trip through a fast food line really require an Instagram post? Do enough people follow Sean Davis on social media to make this an issue?

And the biggest of all: Why do the lawyers always make all the money?

Instant help

It might not take long for the Pirates to gauge what kind of return they got from Houston for Gerrit Cole.

Three of the four players acquired are projected to be on the opening day roster. Joe Musgrove is ticketed for the rotation, Michael Feliz is expected to nail down one of the set-up relief spots and Colin Moran should get the bulk of the playing time at third base.

Moran is a left-handed hitter with some pop, so he should enjoy taking aim at PNC Park’s short porch in right field.

He and Musgrove will be the keys to determining whether the Pirates made a fair deal in surrendering their No. 1 starter.

Gee whiz

There’s something to be said for enthusiasm.

But Penguins TV analyst Bob Errey often sounds like he’s reading a comic book aloud to a roomful of first graders.

The people who booted Paul Steigerwald off the broadcasts might do well to talk to Errey about dialing it down just a bit.

Signing off

Stan Fischler, who has been writing and talking about hockey since the invention of ice, announced this will be his last season as part of the New York Islanders TV crew.

He’s retiring for family reasons, to spend more time with his hockey-playing grandchildren. One set of grandkids lives in Portland, Oregon and the other group is in Israel. That’s some heavy-duty commuting for the New York-based Fischler.

Fischler turns 86 at the end of this month.

If you can’t retire at 86, when can you?

Mehno can be reached at