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Opinion

Sports media blamed for conflicts

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April 27, 2012

As an aspiring young sports journalist something that has me hot under the collar lately is how athletes and coaches do not always respect the media.

I think everyone can admit that sometimes the media takes a story overboard and tries to make something out of nothing, but their job is to give the news.

If it happens to be a slow news day and an athlete posts something on Twitter that they meant to be harmless, the media might make it something bigger.

It is the athlete’s responsibility to know that whatever they post on Twitter or say in front of the press could be taken in any way and that they need to be careful.

There have been many cases of an athlete’s tweet being made into a story by the sports media, but one recent one caught my attention that showed me how disrespectful some athletes are starting to get toward the media.

Pittsburgh Steelers star safety, Ryan Clark, posted a tweet saying he did not respect former Greg Williams’ players who are now confessing about the bounty scandal.

Ryan Clark is a former Greg Williams player and by posting this, it made him look real suspicious to everyone who saw his tweet.

Ryan Clark went on the ESPN show “First Take” and blamed sports journalist Skip Bayless for always making a story out of nothing and trying to make him look bad.

Clark said all he was saying is that the players got involved in the bounty scandal so now it is too late for them to come out and start pointing fingers. Clark also denied ever being part of any bounty systems under Greg Williams.

Unfortunately, Clark was not done taking cheap shots. Later on in the week he went on “First Take” to defend his case. He than took a cheap shot at long time sports reporter Stephen A. Smith when he said he could articulate and report better than Smith and he would look better doing it because he does not have a receding hairline.

Athletes like Clark who take cheap shots like this against sports reporters should be ashamed.

These athletes need to open up their eyes and realize that they would be nothing without sports reporters.

If it was not for ESPN and other channels covering their sports, no one would even know who they were.

They would not sell their jerseys and they would not receive the big luxury contracts that they receive now. No one would care to come out and watch them play if they did not know who they were.

There needs to be an even balance between athletes, coaches, and reporters. Athletes have to know that most of the time reporters want to report on the positive and create an image for the athletes that people will want to hear about and watch.

After a coach loses a game, of course he is going to need some time to cool down before he wants to answer rapidfire questions.

It is the duty of the media to respect the athlete’s lives and know when not to cross the line.

One of the greatest coaches from Duke, Mike Krzyzewski, is never shown in a bad light.

All I have ever heard or seen when reporters talk about, “Coach K” is that he is one of the greatest.

Yet Coach K never talks to a reporter at halftime. I understand that he is in the coaching mindset and really into the game, but it literally takes 30 seconds to answer about three questions before going into the locker room.

He will always just send one of his assistants to answer the reporter.

In my opinion, this is a sign of disrespect for him to not even take 30 seconds to show the viewers and fans that he cares enough to talk to them. I believe that the sports media does a good job of not trying to trash the reputation of athletes and coaches.

There needs to be respect given from both sides and when this happens, it creates viewing pleasure for every sports fan out there.

Ryan Tibbitts is a freshman majoring in journalism. He loves all sports but obsesses over his Packers.