It started innocently enough, with the Bucks announcing last night that Jared Dudley, who was traded to the team September 2, will be on hand to answer questions bearing the hashtag #AskJaredDudley. The intention was that he’d answer questions about joining the team in the form of a video. Tellingly, no footage has since surfaced and there were no replies from Dudley’s personal account nor the Bucks’. Let’s just say there’s a good reason behind that.
Rather than fielding questions about the trade, fans took the opportunity to voice their criticisms of Coach Kidd, who allegedly assaulted his wife in 2001 and was traded to the Bucks from the Brooklyn Nets following friction among the brass.
“How does it feel having a scumbag for a head coach?” tweeted blogger Ed Boulanger. Brooklyn fan Con Dakis pulled no punches either, asking, “Are you okay with having a scumbag and wife beater as a head coach?”. The sentiment was echoed by Eric Garrio of the Bronx: “Aren’t you a little nervous that you have a wife beating maniac as your coach”? The tweets go on like this for hours. You can see for yourself.
The dark side of the internet reared its head as well. Some questions took on a more sinister form, making light of domestic abuse and appearing homophobic in nature. For example, user @trf923 wondered if “Jason Kidd will try to beat [Dudley] like he beat his wife.” Kaysan Ghassemi asked, “Why do you suck so much d—?”
Wisely, it seems the Bucks threw in the towel on their campaign rather quickly, resorting to the NBA’s patented damage control protocol: pretend like it never happened. No replies, no videos, nada.
Too bad, though. Those barbs sidelined legitimately interesting questions, such as who Dudley’s inspiration was growing up, what his favourite flavour of ice cream is and who would win in a cheeseburger eating contest, him or Bucks shooting guard O.J. Mayo. You know, the important questions these sorts of campaigns invariably bring forth, and the only ones marketers should ever expect to receive.
Now we’ll never know. Thank you, Internet.