This is not a “woe is media” thing, so don’t turn it into one.
The media most certainly should be every bit as accountable and transparent as we expect from those we cover, be it in sports or politics or entertainment.
If you write something critical, you should be willing and available for an open dialogue with anyone who has an issue with your opinion or your reporting.
But in light of the latest two high-profile blowups with reporters in the past week by Kings All-Star DeMarcus Cousins and Seahawks All-Pro corner Richard Sherman, let’s just say that the disrespectful divide between the media and the teams and figures they cover continues to widen.
DeMarcus Cousins is one of a couple of athletes to recently get into it with a sports journalist.
These are just further examples of subjects trying to control information and/or intimidate media members to inhibit them from doing their jobs.
Cousins — a wondrously talented player who dropped 55 points amid another controversy on Tuesday night, in which he initially was ejected but then returned to the game after a technical foul was rescinded — threateningly got in the face last weekend of Sacramento bee columnist Andy Furillo for writing about the incident Cousins allegedly was involved in with teammate Matt Barnes at Avenue nightclub in New York when the Kings were in town earlier this month to face the Knicks.
A couple filed a civil lawsuit in federal court alleging that Barnes choked a woman and Cousins sucker-punched her boyfriend, although no police charges were filed.
As a point of background reference, Furillo noted in his column that Cousins and his younger brother Jaleel — a former hoopster at the University of South Florida — also were involved in a fracas at a Tampa club in May, with Jaleel getting arrested on misdemeanor charges of battery and resisting an officer without violence.
Fair game to report that, right?
Wrong, according to Cousins.
“We’re going to have some real f—ing issues. Don’t ever mention my brother again. You don’t know my f—ing brother,” Cousins screamed at Furillo on Saturday. “F—ing coward. You say whatever you want to say about me but don’t mention my motherf—ing family.”
Standing up for your family is certainly expected and commendable, although this wasn’t Cousins’ first run-in with the media. And it probably won’t be his last.
Additionally, Cousins also childishly refused to speak with the rest of the media while Furillo was present on Saturday.
And when he issued an apology of sorts three days later after being docked $50,000 by his team, nowhere did it mention the man he threatened.
“There is a time, place and manner to say everything, and I chose the wrong ones. Like most people, I am fiercely protective of my friends and family, and I let my emotions get the best of me in this situation,” Cousins said. “I understand my actions were inexcusable and I commit to upholding the professional standards of the Kings and the NBA. I apologize to my teammates, fans and the Kings organization for my behavior and the ensuing distraction and look forward to moving on and focusing on basketball.”
Sherman also is no stranger to such incidents, and the Seahawks star took umbrage at a question from Seattle radio host Jim Moore after Sherman had called out offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s play-calling on the sideline and following last Thursday’s win over the Rams.
After his Tuesday press conference had ended, Sherman walked by Moore and blurted, “You don’t want to go there. You do not. I’ll ruin your career.”
When asked by Moore how he planned to do that, Sherman added, “I’ll make sure you don’t get your media pass anymore.”
Later in the day, Sherman also issued an apologetic tweet, saying “I appreciate the role the media plays and they have a tough job. I let it get personal today and I regret that. Next one should be fun.”
He also included the hashtag #PetesaidIdontcontrolcredentials, referring to Seattle head coach Pete Carroll.
Look, I have had my share of players, coaches and management-types unhappy with things I’ve written in more than two decades covering New York sports.
It’s an occupational hazard, but you have to own it.
If something is unfair or inaccurate, by all means, let’s talk.
The best ones, the rare ones, will confront you calmly, rationally, and allow you to explain your side.
This is not a “woe is media” thing, so don’t turn it into one.
OUTTA BOTTE EXPERIENCE
— Very intrigued by this story about former Connecticut women’s soccer player Noriana Radwan (now playing locally as a junior at Hofstra) suing UConn this week for rescinding her scholarship mid-semester of her freshman year in 2014 for flipping the middle finger to an ESPN camera after the Huskies had won their conference championship game.
“I loved UConn, but I lost faith in it as an institution when it allowed my scholarship to be illegally taken away so abruptly and crassly in the middle of the school year, violating all trust I had,” Radwan said in a prepared statement at a Monday press conference.
Radwan was suspended for UConn’s single-game appearance in the NCAA tournament that fall, and claims she was led to believe that would be the end of the discipline.
Her lawsuit, which claims that female UConn athletes are subject to stricter disciplinary treatment than males, bears watching for the NCAA.
Especially in light of the video released this month of Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon punching a woman in the face yet remaining on the football team after being redshirted for one season.
— The indefatigable Jaromir Jagr tied Mark Messier on Tuesday night for the second-most points in NHL history.
He won’t catch Gretzky, but imagine what No. 68’s numbers would have been if not for spending three years mid-career playing in Russia and missing nearly two full seasons to three NHL lockouts.
— The Giants went from an all-time awful secondary last year to putting two DBs (Jackrabbit and Collins) in the Pro Bowl, with Odell Beckham Jr. and Dwayne Harris also named.
The Pro Bowl is the absolute worst, of course, but Snacks Harrison also fully deserved to be so honored.
— Bill Murray and his five brothers announced plans to open a golf-themed restaurant and bar in Rosemont, Ill.
Of course, the brothers’ time as caddies at Indian Hill Club in Winnetka (Ill.) inspired the 1980 classic “Caddyshack,” co-written and also featuring Brian Doyle-Murray. The family already had opened the Murray Bros. Caddyshack sports bar in St. Augustine, Fla. in 2001.
Yes, it’s truly a Cinderella story.
With that, how about a Top-5 (yes, impossible to limit it to five) favorite characters from that cinematic gem?
5.Ted Knight as Judge Smails
“Well, we’re waiting…”
4. John F. Barmon Jr. as Spaulding
“You’ll get nothing and like it!”
3. Chevy Chase as Ty Webb
“Stop thinking, let things happen, and be the ball.”
2. Rodney Dangerfield as Al Cervik.
“Ooh, did somebody step on a duck?”
1. Bill Murray as Carl Spackler
“Hey, Lama, how about a little something, you know, for the effort?”
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News