Column on WNBA Another Example Of Poor Sports Journalism
This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who follows these things. Shoddy journalism with a purpose also known as activist journalism. It happens a lot. Today, I am the target of such lame journalism.
Back 16 months ago I made a dumb joke about two WNBA teams, one that was only funny to a fourth grader. Not exactly a proud moment in a long career, but sometimes a joke just isn’t funny. In a world besieged with problems, this was certainly not very high on the totem pole.
In her column on the status of the wretched, in my opinion, WNBA, Arizona Republic sports writer Paola Boivin tries to make the claim that my dumb joke about the Phoenix Mercury and the Los Angeles Sparks was to use her exact words “vitriolic and homophobic” and my favorite “anti-gay” slurs. All laughable. All wrong. Just a dumb joke. Nothing more. No vitriol was used. No malice. No anger. No anti gay bias at all. Yet when you work for a newspaper and they give you a badge that says “journalist,” smearing someone is okay, in fact it is encouraged.
What’s interesting is the author, Paola Boivin, whom I know well, never mentions how Baylor coach Kim Mulkey actually told her players to keep their sexuality to themselves or it would hurt recruiting. Now, why no mention of that in writing about the growth of the league or lack there of? That’s right, it doesn’t fit her agenda.
Imagine if I had said “the WNBA is terrible and the players should keep their sexuality to themselves because it hurts the league.” Oh, imagine the tar and feathering I could expect if that comment were made. Yet it was made just not by a radio host but rather a head coach, the head coach of the best player in women’s hoops last year, Brittney Griner, now a member of the Phoenix Mercury. Boivin happens to write for the Phoenix sports media.
My guess, and it is just a guess, is that as a woman Boivin wants the league to do well. Understandable. But the league is not a good product and TV ratings are less than Animal Planet and it gets no time on the air waves because nobody cares. Boivin’s so called “journalism” is so shoddy she makes it sound like I made the comment on Phoenix radio airwaves saying “vitriol on local sports radio was so brutal.” Except it wasn’t said on local sports radio and I don’t work for ESPN either as the writer makes it seem. Sloppy. Shoddy. Lazy. But not surprising.
If that’s the best you can offer up about WNBA and its critics, Paola, then you really have nothing at all. The fact is the public isn’t dumb. They buy products they like and stay away from those they don’t. Really simple.
Scarier is how a dumb joke gets classified as ” vitriolic,” “homophobic,” and that sort. Small minds equal small mindedness. We are seeing that with Sergio Garcia a little bit right now. Sergio makes a dumb comment about serving food at dinner for he and Tiger Woods. He uses the fourth grade joke “I will make fried chicken.” Sergio was called a racist from some corners, with so called “journalists” leading that charge. Again, small minds equal small mindedness. Dumb is not homophobic, racist, vitriolic or any of these other derogatory tags a so called journalist wants to claim.
Sadly for today’s young people, especially this form of so called journalism, is what is pervasive. It’s junk. No wonder newspapers are in the tank. Other factors of course exist but it is my opinion that most of the drop off is because people don’t believe what they read. It is agenda driven rather than factually driven.
Listen, I made a dumb comment looking for a cheap laugh over a year ago. It fell flat. I apologized, not for the comment as much as for using my fifth grade joke book. I like to use more high brow humor. I failed in this case. It happens.
When will Paola Boivin, or will Boivin apologize for using her platform as a so called “journalist” to apologize for making the comment sound as if the “joke” was made in anger, malice, vitriolic, or homophobic? My guess knowing so called “journalists” is NEVER!
By the way, it should be noted so I will note. Griner made her WNBA debut Monday with the Phoenix Mercury. They got crushed at home by 22 points. The big story is the two dunks by Griner. Yeah, the product stinks! Is that vitriolic and homophobic as well?