An athlete’s athleticism on the field will get them recognized and perhaps earn a college offer. However, an athlete's character and actions off the field—and on social media—also can get them recognized, but for the wrong reasons.
One high school football player learned this the hard way and is looking to use his experience to help educate others.
Shedrick “Shed” McCall III, a star running back at L.C. Byrd (Chesterfield, Va.) started a YouTube channel in hopes of beginning a YouTube career. He wanted to talk about funny experiences and things he has been through in life.
Unfortunately, McCall was unaware that his use of foul language and actions in these videos would have huge ramifications for him.
College scouts don't just look at the player and their abilities on the field, but also how the player, the person, acts off the field; even what they post on social media.
For McCall, it was one YouTube video in particular. He talked about an incident in which he was trespassing. That video went viral.
Soon after the video was posted, McCall received a phone call that his offer to play Division I football at Old Dominion—to school he had been committed to for six months—was revoked.
All of his hard work to receive a Divison I offer was gone, because of a video he posted to YouTube.
For many, social media is part of our daily routine: checking Twitter, posting to Facebook, liking photos on Instagram and even uploading videos to YouTube.
Social media platforms have given people the opportunity to post their thoughts and express their opinions to a large audience.
McCall’s latest YouTube video has a different, positive message, and one for athletes of all ages. He wants to share his experience to prevent other athletes from harming their futures because of social media.
“Another kid is going to walk the same path I walked, I don’t want to see that happen,” he said in a new video posted to his YouTube channel.
McCall wants to educate young athletes about the powerful effect of social media.
“For my young kids out there just please… just please understand, just watch what you put on social media, just watch what you post,” he said.
McCall won’t be defined by this mistake. After losing his scholarship to Old Dominion, he received an opportunity to play for Norfolk State, where he represents one of the most talented recruits the school has had in recent years.
One post, one tweet, one video is all it takes to ruin the future you have worked so hard to build. McCall’s story is a powerful reminder that every accomplishment can be overshadowed by one bad decision, and that athletes need to think carefully about what they share on social media.