Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

Cincinnati Reds 'Really Concerned' by Prospect's Snapchat Drug Video

Minor league ball player Ian Kahaloa got in a whole heap of trouble after posting a few short videos on the popular social media site Snapchat. The videos depict Kahaloa snorting a line of white powder while wearing a Reds t-shirt, as well as marijuana and paraphernalia.

The 19 year old player's alleged lack of judgment in his use of Snapchat has sparked some discussion on how players should be engaging on social media responsibly.

Details of the Incident

The white powder seen being snorted in the Snapchat video, that was later posted to Twitter by someone else, is suspected to be cocaine. In that video, there is a line of text superimposed that reads: Party time lets go. While Kahaloa's agent did not confirm it was Kahaloa in the videos, the fact that he is reportedly in rehab after failing a team administered drug test, and his team has issued a statement, basically calling him out, makes it all but certain it was him in the videos.

As a result of the video, Kahaloa was suspended for 50 games. His team is taking this matter very seriously, and has stated that baseball will be on the backburner for Kahaloa until he can put this behind him. While this whole situation may have been shocking for many, it is an unfortunately all too common of an occurrence for professional athletes to be found doing illegal drugs, even publicly. These incidents are highly disfavored by teams and leagues as they can create negative public perception about teams, athletes and league.

Major League Social Media Policy

Major League Baseball adopted a social media policy for players several years ago in response to many teams issuing blanket bans on players using the platforms. The policy includes obvious requirements like players not using social media to make unapproved statements on behalf of teams or the league. However, the policy also includes prohibitions against making bigoted statements, harassing or threatening others with violence, posting sexually explicit images, and, as Kahaloa just learned, posting anything that could be construed as condoning or promoting the use of illegal drugs.

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