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DENVER, CO - APRIL 25:  Kenyon Martin #4 of the Denver Nuggets awaits a free throw against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2011 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Thunder 104-101 to stay alive as the Thunder lead the series 3-1 over the Nuggets. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

At this point, there are several hundred million users who can vouch that life would be a little less awesome without Twitter.

For what it’s worth, many of those same users will vouch that following professional athletes on Twitter is one of the main attractions of using it. It’s just plain fun to know what your favorite athletes are thinking or doing at any given moment.

The problem is that pro athletes are just like the rest of us. And not all of their thoughts are nice thoughts.

For example, check out this recent tweet from former New Jersey Nets and Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin:

Martintweet_original

Now, the first question that comes to mind when you see something like this is whether or not it was actually Martin who said it. That’s a question that is oftentimes answered by the magical blue check mark of verification, and Martin’s account does bear one of those.

So, unless his Twitter account was hacked, the answer is yes, Martin said it.

A quick look at Martin’s timeline will reveal why he said it. He’s clearly a guy who attracts a lot of negative tweets from people who apparently are not big fans of his. From the look of things, he doesn’t mind responding to these people directly.

My guess is that he must have gotten tired of doing that, so he instead composed the above tweet in an effort to tell all the haters off at once.

If you’re new to Twitter, it’s not uncommon for athletes to address the haters in this fashion. The difference is that most of them choose to do so a little more delicately than Martin.

There are two reactions people are going to have to this. One, is to label Martin an idiot, which is justifiable, and the other is to lump him in with all the other athlete tweeters and label them all idiots.

This is not quite fair, but one can see why some people would be willing to do it. Athletes aren’t the only celebrities who cause trouble on Twitter, but they do seem to do it a lot. Numerous athletes have tweeted things they shouldn’t have, and these tweets have led to a few notable media firestorms.

The problem is that the tweets that cause these firestorms overshadow all the other tweets that come from our favorite athletes, the vast majority of which are positive. Thus, what we have are a select few troublemakers ruining it for everyone else.

To give you an example, people might just notice Martin telling haters to die of AIDS before they notice the “LET US PLAY” grassroots campaign that is going on among other basketball players. That was started by Derek Fisher this morning, and it has been snowballing ever since.

If people do see Martin’s tweet before they see any of those, their view of the NBA is going to be considerably more negative.

Obviously, that’s not a good thing, and that’s a damn shame.

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