Do pro athletes HAVE to talk to the media?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Bobby Wasabi, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. Bobby Wasabi

    Bobby Wasabi Member

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    I follow NHL, MLB and NFL.

    I'm an Oilers fan and although they have had some rough seasons, the Edmonton media doesn't seem to get under the skin of the players.

    On the other hand, the Toronto media seems down right nasty to the Maple Leafs players. The players certainly don't seem like they want to be doing it. Case in point from this morning:

    http://www.tsn.ca/video/phaneuf-have-you-played-sports-before-1.251767

    Are the players under contractual obligation to answer questions to the media. I think they are in the NFL (see Lynch "I'm here so I don't get fined") but is that true of all pro sports? If so, what recourse do the players have when the media is playing fair?
     
  2. fwguitar

    fwguitar Member

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    Yeah, I'm pretty sure they have to.
    And yeah, sometimes the media can get a little bit much.
    I'm in Montreal so I should know...
     
  3. MVrider

    MVrider Member

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    Yes, because the public wants to believe they are all really, really nice people.
     
  4. Bobby Wasabi

    Bobby Wasabi Member

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    Who? The athletes or the media??
     
  5. fredgarvin

    fredgarvin Member

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    Athletes and actors. Opinions that matter.
     
  6. Craig Allen

    Craig Allen Member

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    They shouldn't have to, because all of their answers are variations on:

    "We just have to find a way to win next time" or "We found a way to win."

    "We need to improve our defense" or "Our defense shut them down."

    "We need to improve our offense" or "Our offense was strong."
     
  7. Papanate

    Papanate Gold Supporting Member

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    Most often Media contact is dependent on the Athletes contract.

    Other than that - Sports Teams micro manage players contact with the Media.
    That's why you only see specific players from each team talking to the press.
    On the occasion that a relatively unknown player does something extraordinary
    - the teams PR people coach them prior to contact.

    It's a very controlled environment - It is important for Athletes to look good in the Press
    or at least generate Press - notoriety can mean more money at the negotiating table.
    So Agents are also heavily involved in the Press aspects of a clients career.
     
  8. pickaguitar

    pickaguitar 2011 TGP Silver Medalist Silver Supporting Member

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    They hardly say anything of substance...it's always the same ole lines.

    I wish someone would get up there and really let loose - full on descriptive rant on secrets, feelings, specifics, money, politics, personal, etc
     
  9. Peteyvee

    Peteyvee Premium Platinum Member

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    Sometimes it's even written in their contracts to make "x" number of interviews and "x" numbers of public appearances...
     
  10. Bobby Wasabi

    Bobby Wasabi Member

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    Except for Dustin Penner. I always got a laugh out of his interviews.
     
  11. Dog Boy

    Dog Boy Member

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    "Baseball ben berry berry good....to me!
     
  12. dmw319

    dmw319 Member

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    :aok
     
  13. Count_Chocolat

    Count_Chocolat Member

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    This, dont forget that the media is part of the Marketing/advertising of a team.
     
  14. Jim Soloway

    Jim Soloway Supporting Member

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    Is there some reason that I'm not aware of why the local media should not be brutal towards the Leafs? What a disgrace of a hockey team.
     
  15. geoangus

    geoangus Member

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    I'm just here so I won't get fined
     
  16. Blue Light

    Blue Light Member

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    When Marshawn Lynch pulled that stunt of answering every question with that line (which he's since applied for a trademark on), I wished every sportswriter in that room stood up and turned to give him their backs. It was a childish insult.

    I'm a guy who reads the sports page first thing in the morning. But a lot of athletes have been put into a cocoon at a very early age and don't know any better. There were some legendary good sports out there, like Reggie Jackson and Jack Nicklaus. But there sure have been a lot of stiffs.

    There was a very good analysis of this situation on Grantland.com not long ago. It covers the travails of a sportswriter in Oklahoma who has to cover the Thunder.

    Why does Russell Westbrook hate me?
     
  17. 27sauce

    27sauce Supporting Member

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    Watch a Gregg Popovich interview. Pretty clear that he has to do it.
     
  18. Judyis#1

    Judyis#1 Member

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    Please re-read post #7 in this thread. Players are NOT allowed to speak their mind, lest they say something that could potentially embarass the league, the team, or the coaching staff - which does come-back onto the players who provided the 'dirt'. EVERY word uttered to the mainstream press is pre-scripted marketing fluff. It is not 'news' or 'insight'.

    Let's face it - the average-joe doesn't 'really' like professional athletes. They're portrayed as spoiled, wildly-overpaid brats with shaky morals, few manners, and a terrible attitude, and the mainstream sports press LOVES to paint this picture over-and-over for the expressed purpose of allowing average-joe to feel good about themselves when their own sports career peaked in college (if they went at all). The Sports press isn't looking for feel-good stories that bask in their love of the game - they're looking for the next Tarkanian, the next Rae Carruth, the next Jerry Sandusky, the next Ray Rice story. THAT is what today's sports press is all about - I'm surprised they even watch the games or report the score anymore.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2015
  19. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Gold Supporting Member

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    Not really.

    You always see specific players because they are the best players, not the best at doing interviews. If they could manage that, Marshawn Lynch would never have had to go near an interview--what other proof do you need?

    The media usually has some access to all players as the locker rooms are open after games, and not just specific players. Other interview requests go through the teams' media relations department and are generally granted. Live TV gets anyone they want right after the game, there's no time for any coaching.

    Sure, a team will do what it can to manage the situation, and coaching young players as a general thing is good for the team and the players, why not do it? The scenes in Bull Durham come to mind. But if a kid hits a game winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, he's on camera two minutes later. The good news is, the question isn't "Wow, you just hit your first game winning home run! So tell us, what do you think about the world hunger problem?"

    Some of you guys overestimate the ability of teams to control their players. Again, see Marshawn Lynch. But generally, the players and the teams both don't want the player to suffer a "foot in mouth" episode.

    Knee jerk platitudes are human nature and not just a symptom of pro sports. This thread is a perfect example of that.
     
  20. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    Hasn't everyone watched Bull Durham?

     

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