Media need to give Jaylen Brown space


Boston Celtics small forward Jaylen Brown helped his team win its 14th straight game last night, just hours after finding out his best friend had died.

Brown scored a team high 22 points Thursday night during a 92-88 win over the Golden State Warriors in TD Garden in Boston.

Coaches and players weren’t sure if he’d play Thursday. He had gone to Celtics coach Brad Stevens that he didn’t think he could play so soon after the death of childhood friend Trevin Steede.

Brown said a phone call from his friend’s mother eventually swayed him to play in his friend’s honor.

The call came just in time as the Celtics played in their biggest game of the season against the reigning NBA champions. The Celtics rallied twice from double-digit deficits in the game and proved the many doubters wrong. Both rallies were inspired by Brown and teammate Kyrie Irving.

But after the game, the news media stormed the Celtics’ locker room and wanted to interview the leading scorer from the game. Little did they know his best friend died, but the news media onslaught of microphones, videos and recorders flooded Brown. In a sense the news media should have backed off at least a bit.

Cam Newton and the news media


Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton doesn’t have many friends in the news media anymore.

Newton’s rocky relationship with local Panthers sports reporters and columnists took another turn for the worst last week when the quarterback left his press conference early with no explanation. This was his first press conference after skipping several press conferences over the course of a week. Many people believed that he was boycotting the news media because of an earlier incident that occurred involving a female reporter.

In this press conference, Newton was asked a large amount of questions about the Panthers’ struggling offense, which only managed to score a field goal in its game the previous Sunday. A reporter then asked Newton about “big chunk plays” that the Carolina offense was lacking, which sent Newton over the edge.

Newton responded to that question saying, “Next question,” then he rolled his eyes, paused, and then left the press conference without any explanation.

The Panthers released a statement saying, “Cam didn’t intend to be discourteous toward any specific media member, in his mind after answering questions for nine minutes he had fulfilled his obligations.”

It’s still questionable why that question caused his sudden outburst but it seems like his relationship with the news media has been stalled for a while. This comes a couple of weeks after  Newton replied with a sexist comment during a press conference to a female reporter when she asked about running routes. Newton later apologized and then lost an endorsement deal with Dannon.

The reality of the situation is that Newton can’t escape the news media. As a public figure and a former MVP quarterback, he is going to have to deal with questions he might not want to answer. Some of the questions might be pointless, but it’s also the job of the news media to ask questions that Newton might deem stupid or unnecessary.

But to Cam, it’s his world and the news media is just living in it.

Girardi out as Yankees manager


Joe Girardi will not be wearing those Yankee pinstripes next season. The team announced that Girardi will not be resigned after completing the final year of a four-year, $16 million contract.

Girardi, 53, announced in an e-mail to local news media outlets that with a “heavy heart” that “the Yankees have decided to not bring me back.” In the same statement, he went of and thanked many people including Yankees executives and his assistant coaches.

The move comes right after the Yankees were one game away from reaching the world series. But their season ended after they lost to the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series.

Girardi was manager for the past 10 years and lead the Yankees to a combined 910-710 record, which equated to a .562 winning percentage. Along the way, Girardi also lead the Yankees to a World Series championship and they made the playoffs six times.

The decision was ultimately made by owner Hal Steinbrenner after general manager Brian Cashman recommended that the team swap managers. There had been an extreme amount of tension growing throughout the latter part of the 2017 season and the Yankees playoff run with Girardi making questionable calls along the way.

His biggest criticism came in Game two of the American League Divisional Series against the Cleveland Indians when Girardi declined to ask for a replay review on a controversial call. The decision opened the door for an Indians comeback.

Girardi was hired in 2008, replacing Hall of Fame manager, Joe Torre. His first season under the helm resulted in the first time the Yankees missing the playoffs since 1994. But in the next season, Girardi lead the Yankees to a World Series championship.

The biggest challenge for the Yankees will be hiring a new manager. With no clear-cut candidates the front office needs to decide if they go for a big name, or for a young gun who could connect to the young Yankees team.

Overall, the news media have done a great job reporting the release of Girardi and they’ve been fair to both sides. Although the move had been coming for some time, it showed that there was an immense amount of respect for the news media and to Girardi. Not many people who get fired turn to local news media outlets and break the story to them. Only with a mutual level of respect, does something like that occur.

Hayward fractures tibia, dislocates ankle


Boston Celtics star forward Gordon Hayward was removed from the Celtics season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers with a dislocated ankle and a fractured tibia.

The injury, which was difficult to watch, occurred around five minutes into the first quarter after a collision in air with a Cavs player. When Hayward came down he landed awkwardly, twisting his leg and his foot was caught underneath his body. Immediately the camera shifted to Hayward and all you saw was an extremely deformed ankle.

Players on the court were visibly distraught by the injury, with many crowding around Hayward and praying. Play stopped immediately and medical crews came out to support Hayward and he was quickly taken to the locker room and rushed to a hospital.

The next day it was announced that Hayward underwent a successful surgery in Boston to repair his injured leg. No time table has been set for Hayward’s return. The injury is very similar to the same on sustained by NBA Superstar Paul George during a Team USA scrimmage in 2014. George was out for eight months before returning to basketball.

“You really feel for him,” said Celtics Coach Brad Stevens. He later added, “We’re expecting a full recovery.”

Hayward’s agent, Mark Bartelstein expects his client to miss the entire season.

Overall, this is a tragedy for the player and the team. Hayward came to the Celtics this summer after signing a four-year, $128 million contract. He joined the Celtics from the Utah Jazz to reconnect with his former college coach, Brad Stevens.

Bleacher Report and ESPN both wrote fantastic articles on Hayward and had pictures complementing the story. Without showing the injury, they achieved great storytelling and reporting. Sports Illustrated went a different route and brought in an orthopediest to help viewers understand the severity of the injury.

All news media publications gave Hayward the space to not show his injury, which has already dramatically changed his life.

Anchor Jemele Hill suspended at ESPN


This past week ESPN suspended star anchor Jemele Hill for two weeks after she violated ESPN’s social media policy for the second time in a couple of weeks.

The second suspension stemmed from Hill commenting on the Dallas Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones requiring all players to stand for the national anthem. Hill tweeted, “Jerry Jones also has created a problem for his players, specifically the black ones. If they don’t kneel, some will see them as sellouts.”

Hill was previously suspended when she called Trump a “white supremacist,” in a tweet.  John Skipper, president of ESPN, sent out a company wide memo shortly after Hill’s first suspension saying that “ESPN is about sports” and that it is “not a political organization.”

The White House eventually stepped in on the issue as Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that this was “a fireable offense.”

While I’m all for taking a side and standing for what you believe in, certain people need to be wary of what’s shared. The news media, in its truest form, is supposed to be as unbiased as possible. Hill is clearly unbiased when she attacks Trump and Jerry Jones.

In many situations reporters or people in the industry are fired for spreading their beliefs on social media or in press events. There is no issue with having a belief, but when you work in the news media, you can’t share it.

It doesn’t matter what his name is


This past Sunday a lone gunman unleashed rapid-fire bullets from the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel, killing at least 58 people and injuring more than 500 others attending a three-day country music festival.

The act was the single-deadliest mass shooting in American history. Only one shooter was connected to the act. Inside his hotel room in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Vegas Strip was 23 guns and another 19 were found inside his house.

The suspect, who is now deceased, checked into the hotel on Sept. 28 and it was likely that he requested a room on a high floor overlooking the festival grounds, overlooking the 22,000 attendees at the concert.

President Trump visited Las Vegas on Wednesday to pay his respects and offer his condolences. Several other politicians and entertainers expressed their sorrow on social media with the hashtag, #prayforlasvegas, which has been trending on Twitter.

Police are lost as they are still looking into what the motive is for this act of pure evil. After interviewing several people close to the shooter and digging up almost every detail about his past, investigators are stumped.

The problem with the reporting of the shooting is far too many news media outlets are using the shooter’s picture and his name as if it was the president’s. They’re creating a situation of martyrdom and creating a following for him.

The truth of the matter is, it doesn’t matter what his name is. It doesn’t matter what is gender is, his age is, his occupation is, his demeanor, where he lives, who his family is, or what his hobbies are.

TMZ the infamous celebrity gossip site took this too far when they released an article titled, SHOOTER DOESN’T FIT MASS SHOOTER PROFILE. They had this great quote, “The 64-year-old Nevada resident lived in a retirement community. He has no criminal record, at least none we’ve been able to find so far. We found Paddock has a hunting license in Alaska. He got a pilot’s license in 2003, which means he’s undergone some physical and mental evaluation.”

This is disgusting. A man killed 58 people and injured more than 500 people. Then he killed himself. He fits the mass shooter profile because he acted as a mass shooter. It doesn’t matter if he was mentally insane, or if he was “normal” to the eyes of police. He committed an act of violence and caused devastation. His name, picture and background doesn’t need to be shared. He is a mass murderer.

End of Pitino era at Louisville


This past Tuesday, the FBI announced that 10 people, with four being college basketball assistant coaches, have been charged and arrested in connection to fraud, bribery and corruption in the world of college basketball.

Coaches from prominent universities such as the University of Miami and the University of Arizona were linked to the investigation. But no school was connected more than the University of Louisville. Athletic Director Tom Jurich and infamous Coach Rick Pitino were both placed on administrative leave.

The basketball program acknowledged it was part of the scandal and allegedly collaborated with Adidas to pay an unnamed basketball recruit $100,000 to attend the University. The player in question is most likely five-star Brian Bowen, who was just suspended indefinitely by the university.

This scandal around Pitino is just one piece of a tarnished career. Two years ago Pitino was suspected of hiring prostitutes to entice basketball recruits into attending Louisville and was to serve a five game suspension this upcoming season because of that scandal.

Bleacher Report writer Jason King hits the nail on it’s head in his article titled, “FBI Bribery Scandal Reveals Rick Pitino Wasn’t Just a Hall of Famer, but a Phony.” In this article, King outlines Pitino’s fall from grace as a former mastermind of college basketball, who at his best, should be placed in the conversation with legendary coaches such as John Wooden and Mike Krzyzewski. Instead Pitino did acts that cost him his credibility and destroyed his name.

King accurately looked at Pitino as the perpetrator, not the victim, which he so rightfully deserved. He also took quotes from other Coaches in college basketball and related pitino to other successful coaches who did not break the rules.

In the end, Pitino did all of this to himself. From a fantastic coach who led Providence to a Final Four berth to all the way to 2013 where he won a national championship with only one player who is currently in the NBA. He started colluding and started to dig his own grave. Although Pitino pleaded ignorance, it’s hard to believe that a coach as smart as him, wouldn’t know what’s going on in his own program.