From the athlete (directly) to the fans


The Players’ Tribune, founded by New York Yankee legend Derek Jeter, gives athletes the platform to speak directly to the fans, without input from the news media.

“My goal is for the site to ultimately transform how athletes and newsmakers share information, bring fans closer than ever to the games they love.” Jeter says on the website’s About page.

Athletes, from a wide variety of sports, have reserved the website to use for big announcements. One of the their most popular posts came from NBA Forward Kevin Durant, when he announced to sign with the Golden State Warriors during last summer’s free agency period.

Durant is one to be known for not being completely transparent with the news media and the reasoning behind using the Players’ Tribune but opened up about the press on Bill Simmons’ Podcast on the Ringer.

“I wonder like, what are your motives when you talk about this stuff?” Durant told Simmons. “What are you trying to get out of it? I know that me, I love talking about basketball. My thing is, I want the casual fan to understand what we go through because it’s not as easy as you think.”

The two later discussed how Simmons did not get angry when he and Durant got into a Twitter fight.

“You’re a real guy.” Durant told Simmons. “Some of these guys are so sensitive. Their egos are too big. But, you know, we can talk about that another time.”

The website has changed the way athletes are able to communicate with fans, in less serious ways as well.

NBA Hall of Famer, Shaquille O’Neal, collaborated with the Lakers’ team photographer to go through their archives and pick his favorite pictures from his time in Los Angeles.

It is interesting to note how a mistrust in the news media lead to Durant using the website as his platform to the fans.

Jeter may have wanted to change the way athletes and newsmakers share information, but his website and bad experiences between athletes and the news media members may have created a different result. The Players’ Tribune can inadvertently lead to a slimming down of the newsmakers to his equation.