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updated: 8/30/2013 10:52 PM

WNBA player's remarks ignite Twitter firestorm

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Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and message boards have made it much easier to write something to someone or about someone that we would never dare say to that person's face.

What's left of civility in the face-to-face world was long ago kicked to the curb in the world of social media.

Once again, this unabashed "dialoguing" is on display in the Twitter fire storm du jour.

WNBA star Sophia Young, a forward with the San Antonio Silver Stars, is taking some nasty, nasty heat right now. Check out the commentary on her Twitter feed: @sophiayoung33.

Young tweeted over the last couple of days about her opposition to same-sex marriage. She said, "Should San Antonio be a city that allows same-sex marriage? I vote NO."

Young included a photo of herself holding a "Vote No" sign, which was supposedly in response to the possible tweaking by the city council of a nondiscrimination ordinance in San Antonio that would add protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation or sexual preference.

Some people have criticized Young for being uninformed and confused, citing that the ordinance actually has nothing to do with same-sex marriage, just equality. Others have accused her of being a downright bigot, with one person tweeting that she had shamed of San Antonio, the WNBA and the Silver Stars.

Said another tweet: "Good thing little girls look up to u and ur hate filled views! Didn't realize homophobia is one of ur talents."

And another: "Gee, I thought you were respectable, at least."

And another: "So sad that u know so little about the issue ur protesting, but more importantly that u support discrimination. Shame."

And another: "James 2:4 describes those who discriminate as "judges with evil thoughts."

By taking to Twitter, Young certainly opened herself up to criticism, especially considering the circles in which she travels. The WNBA is proud to include many lesbians on its rosters and among its fan base.

The fact that Young, whom by all accounts has always had a good reputation both on and off the court, would be willing to possibly strain so many of those relationships is certainly a head-scratcher. But it shouldn't be an opening to receive venomous tweets like this: "The stupid anti-gay religious bigot went to an evangelical school and then Baylor U."

Other responses come with more offensive language and ugly on Young and her family.

As a journalist, I'm all for free speech and dissenting views. But why can't we keep the tweets and the posts clean and civil?

All of us, including Sophia Young, have the right to have an opinion, whether popular or not. As long as that opinion is expressed with civility, the responses, whether in agreement or disagreement, should be expressed that way, too.

That's the way things worked (most of the time) when people actually talked to each other face to face.

Sometimes technology really doesn't make life better.

• Follow Patricia on Twitter: @babcockmcgraw, and contact at

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