In the New Sports Journalism model, any player who scores lots of points and wins games immediately becomes a person worthy of hero worship.
Start writing up the puff pieces. Find some small angle and make a big hero out of him/her.
That’s what you’ll find in today’s New York Times Sports section about the NBA Pacers Paul George who just happens to be on a big scoring binge.
The problem is that there are those of us who do follow sports and have memories and know something more about players than just how many points they scored last week.
And for a NYT’s sportswriter to play up Paul George’s “feminine” side is a grotesque slap in the face of all women. Especially after the tweets George sent back in 2014 after Ravens running back Ray Rice knocked out his girlfriend in an elevator then dragged her like a rag doll from that elevator.
Paul George, in support of fellow professional athlete Ray Rice, said that if Ray’s girlfriend wasn’t “trippin” about the event, then Paul George wasn’t “trippin.” “lol.” (!) “Let that man play!”
Of course, George prefaced his comments by saying “hittin women” isn’t “coo.”
But then his logic is, if the woman doesn’t complain, NO BIG DEAL.
So, NYT’s cub reporter Scott Cacciola who wrote this piece extolling the sweet, feminine side of Paul George, is this the mindset of an NBA player who really supports women?
Or is it an NBA player who thinks a privileged, million dollar star athlete can punch out a woman, then drag her across the floor of a hotel like a rag doll, then expect to go right on playing and making millions of dollars from the public no matter what he does? LOL?
LOL. That is: “Lots of laughs”, to Paul George, when women get knocked out cold by big athletes.
Then there’s Paul George’s tweet about when it’s OKAY to HIT A WOMAN:
So, just to keep this straight, Paul: If the woman hits you first, go right ahead and knock her out? Homie Ray Rice made the “mistake” of a straight-up hit?
This was less than a year and a half ago. September 2014. Recent event.
Yes, George got lots of support from certain quarters of supporters.
But the quarter that matters, Pacer’s President Larry Bird, came down on the other side. Bird came out with an apology from the Pacer’s organization and a dress-down on George. George later released his own public relations-written apology that was in such stark contrast to his tweets it was obvious George had no input whatsoever on its composition. He simply had to pretend he wrote it. For the public. For the press.
We’ve made the point before with Peyton Manning and we’ll make it again here.
Why do these paid journalists expect us paying customers to buy heroic lies? Are they setting up Paul George to be more valuable as a million dollar spokesperson? Like Peyton Manning? By creating heroes for public consumption?
Babe Ruth was a drunken, womanizing baseball player. But a great player. We could accept that. If he beat up women when he was drunk, we wouldn’t accept that.
Paul George scores points. That’s all. Those who know more about him know he is no leader. There is no there there. Yet cub reporter Cacciola wants to spin a story around him that covers-up the truth of who he really is.
Well, we know the truth.
And we aren’t buying Cacciola’s bunk.