SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Social media gives sports fans insight into the lives of athletes that they have never had before. Now, some of those athletes are firing back at those same fans for their opinions.
On Wednesday, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick posted a recent workout to Twitter. But one of his followers commented that his abdominal workout wouldn't help the him find an open wide receiver.
Earlier in the week, Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III found criticism on his Instagram account when he posted a picture of himself listening to music in his car on his way to work.
Kaepernick led the 49ers to a 12-4 record in 2013, passing for 3,197 yards, 21 touchdowns and eight interception, with a 91.6 quarterback rating. Last season, Kaepernick led the 49ers to an 8-8 record with 3,369 passing yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions with an 86.4 quarterback rating.
The following Twitter tirade ensued, between Kaepernick and Stephen Batten, who saw his follower count rise from eight to more than 3,200 in hours.
Kaepernick continued to ignite, asking about the fan's own game preparation.
@battman_returns are you illiterate or just ignorant? Read the tweet again better yet give me your breakdown of every defensive coverage— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) February 18, 2015
He then told the fan to mind his own business.
@battman_returns I want every players responsibility on every coverage if you can't do it mind your damn business clown!— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) February 18, 2015
Before finally taking a dig at the fan's Twitter fame.
@battman_returns you got 8 followers bruh your own family don't even want to know what you doin! Get better at life!— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) February 18, 2015
Griffin's battle began when he wrote: "Jamming to MJ on the way to get that work in this morning #BillyJean. What you working with this morning?," on his Instagram.
A fan quickly fired back, questioning his work ethic.
"This is why you will be cut after next year in Washington," @cperezrn writes. "Why you weren't even mentioned as the future. You are a 'QB'. Act like one."
"He cares more about his brand, social media than working in his craft. After the 2016 seasons respond back to me if I am wrong. He will be cut by the Redskins after those years. Brees, Brady, Rodgers, Manning don't act this way. Very simple observation. "
Griffin and @cperezrn proceeded to skirmish.
@rgiii: "If giving back to the community and training for football at the same time is frowned upon.....then what would you say I do Sir? Not give back or Train? Honest Question"
"Oh wait...and should I not enjoy a classic song with others who Love MJ? I'm just asking for your wisdom here."
@cperezrn: "It's about the image @rgiii. Whether or not you are training trying to get better it's all about how you present yourself. Your coach, owner doesn't want to see you present yourself in this matter. Think about it for a minute. You grew up in a military family. I am also a military man. Ask your father, mother it's how you present yourself."
@rgii: "And I'm presenting myself in a negative way by doing.....what exactly?"
@cperezrn: "Never said you were presenting yourself in a "negative" way. Just seems that you care more about your social media, commercial's and brand than football. That's all bud. Good luck next year. @rgiii. Hope you prove your fans wrong."
@rgiii: "And what or who makes it seem that way? The fans are the ones who support not the ones I have to prove wrong"
@rgiii: "I hear what you are saying, but for you to say those things to me is a sign that you don't know what I am about and have been watching and listening to other people who have never even met me."
@cperezrn: "I rest my case at least you understand what I'm trying to tell you and what your critics have said about you. It's about how you present yourself. Of course we don't know you. We know your social media, the commercials you make. That's why I said act like the leader of your team. After you win a title no one can criticize you, but for now they do. Anyways, good luck to you."
@rgiii: "No need to act like a leader, just gonna be one as always. The case you tried to make isn't supported by anything I have done. Fun loving, motivation & football based commercials? Motivation and family related social media post?"
@rgiii: "Community events and gear going towards helping the community?"
@cperezrn: "If you were the leader of your team, why weren't you mentioned as the future the other day. I'm not talking about your community involvement. Not criticizing that. I'm talking to you about the way you present yourself and many of your critics feel that you care more about your brand than football. That is ALL that I'm saying. I can be 100% wrong, even your teammates have said they aren't sure about you. Think you have too much "DIVA" in you. Anyways I'm wrong you are right."
@rgiii: "Military families have class, dignity & loyalty. I will maintain mine. You have not shown any of those. I will keep it that way and let you go right off my page God Bless"
Washington coach Jay Gruden recently named Griffin the team's starter for next season.
"Robert ended the season as our starter and we anticipate that going forward," Gruden said at the NFL Combine. "He'll be the No. 1 guy."