I usually don’t write about sports ( actually I have not yet) but I couldn’t resist…..
Dear ESPN and Jemele Hill:
Warning!! Warning!! Jemele Hill has gone rogue in the world of sports journalism!….Oh wait, no…that’s just ESPN publishing another one of her useless, mindless, and least thought-provoking columns ever. The part about her going rogue was just me daydreaming about a better world. Although I did not quite dream it up right, or else I would have imagined her taking up any other occupation besides being a sports journalist. Unless, of course she would clean up her columns and write about something more interesting that actually has to do with the world of sports, than…oh I dunno…Wes Welker’s very tough decision to have a hair restoration procedure at which point I am sure the many readers of ESPN would cherish her writing.
Because the fact is, if I was bald and was getting a hair restoration procedure and feeling very insecure about my appearance……. I’m not getting any national attention for it, nor would I want any because I’m not an egotistical “pick a word” who thinks anyone would or should care about my hair restoration procedure (barring my friends and family of course).
This has to be my favorite quote of the whole thing.
“So in some ways, Welker, who was almost flowery in his praise of Leonard’s handiwork, made a business decision. Not that Welker is some kind of hair martyr. His honesty does come with an agenda. He will serve as a spokesman for Leonard, which includes appearing in TV, radio and print advertisements.
Oh, Oh, Oh, so there is some payoff involved. What a surprise. And what’s with the “hair martyr” phrase? As I see it, a martyr is someone who sacrifices themselves for a cause they believes in. So he sacrificed himself to the general public’s ridicule by getting a hair restoration? First of all, as she said, it was a business decision and he is going to be starring in advertisements, so I hardly think that he was worried about being a martyr to the public. Second of all, the general public should be very insulted by Jemele Hill, to think that we are so mind numbingly shallow and don’t have anything better to do than to make fun of an athlete for wanting to put hair on his bald head. I’m very confused by her thought process, to say the least. But, this quote, I scoff at.
But there is something endearing about an athlete who isn’t afraid to acknowledge something that contradicts the stereotype that he’s impervious to imperfections.
You bash them every day. You print things about them in the media that no one cares about, just to make big hay out of it. You blow things out of proportion all the time. You speculate. You have controversial and absurd opinions about them just for the sake of it. You make mince-meat out of their interviews for the sake of promoting mind-numbing controversy that would otherwise not have existed. You are attention-whores more so than the athletes you write about. You need to get over yourselves more so than the athletes you write about. You are the sports media. You are imperfect. The athletes you write about are imperfect. We are all imperfect. I had no preconceptions that Wes Welker was a god before reading your column, and you are not a saint for writing this column, supposedly for the purpose of revealing his “human” side. I am assuming that you wanted me to read this article and go, “WOW, Wes Welker is just a regular dude because he can get hair transplants and not be embarrassed to talk about it just like the rest of us. . Give us a break. How many garbage touchy-feely articles and columns, in the world of sports journalism, do we intelligent readers have to continue to see like this? The public is not stupid. We do not live with blinders on.
On a side note
And I know that by writing this post and linking to her article I am giving her column more attention. But the fact is that there is no other way to draw attention to poor journalism and if she has any ounce of journalistic integrity (lacking in today’s world) and respect for the readership of ESPN, she should not take negative attention as license to write more of the same.
P.S.: Read the public’s reaction your column, do some reflective thinking, and come back with something better. PLEASE!