I have a simple term for it: Idiot patrol.
Last week was a good–or bad week–for idiot patrol, depending on your perspective.
A Boston sports talk show host, Kirk Minihane of WEEI, made disparaging remarks about Erin Andrews. Then during his apology for his initial comments, he went on to slam Andrews even further. He said, if Andrews “weighed 15 pounds more she would be a waitress.”
Then, there was the entire Stephen A. Smith mess. Memo to Stephen A.: Stephen A.: If you talk about domestic violence on TV, you never come close to comments being misconstrued. It’s wrong, end of discussion.
Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing had a complete rundown of other “idiot” stuff in this post.
I’ve been writing about, reporting on, and analyzing this sports media industry on a full-time basis for over three years now. And I can safely say that I’ve never seen a period of time as chaotic, distressing, and insane as what transpired last week.
Reflecting over the weekend, it was easy to be discouraged about the current state of our daily sports conversation and generally, the way we treat one another through social media and beyond. And unfortunately, one of the biggest takeaways from the week was the disrespectful treatment and abuse of women working in sports.
Yoder, though, tried to put a positive spin on things, citing some uplifting stories he read. He concluded:
Hopefully all of us in sports who participate in this medium can continue to grow and evolve ourselves, including yours truly. None of us honestly have any grasp of how social media is affecting our culture at large, or the way it will shape our future. If enough of us to choose to set an example, like Michelle Beadle or Wade Davis, hopefully that progress and growth can be more widespread. It starts with simple ideals like respect and equality and empathy. And it starts with each person, no matter who they are or how many followers they have, accepting personal responsibility for the words they say.
It was a dark week in this industry, yes, but let’s hope that encouraging stories that can’t be told in 140 characters aren’t overshadowed by the worst of us and there’s light ahead.
I second that. I know there are sites out there that celebrate being on “Idiot Patrol.” Drives page views.
Not me. I take no pleasure when people in the business act like idiots. It makes us all look bad.
Here’s hoping for a better week.