Does color or star power determine how the media covers athletes?

23 Jan

After watching an #ESPN E:60 story on the Patriots Rob Gronkowski the question again came to my mind. Is their a difference in how athletes actions are portrayed in the media and viewed by the public based on their race?

Rob Gronkowski is one of the best TE in the NFL right now. If he continues to produce at this rate for a few more years, he will be considered one of the greatest ever. He also is a bit wild off the field with a penchant for partying.

In the E:60 story his antics were often talked about by family and friends as simply those of big goofy kid. One who likes to push the limits placed on him as his dad said. Even his mom talked about him doing the things that any single 20-23 year old would want to do.

Just a guy from a blue collar family that is celebrating his success and enjoying life with those around him.

When I hear stories like this involving a black athlete the terms seem different. Family members and friends are often described  with terms like ‘posse’, ‘entourage’, etc.  Imagine what would be said about that mom if she made similar comments? Many people would talk about her not raising her son right.

What would be the commentary have been about Marshawn Lynch if he had been spotted in the club throwing back a few shots after Seattle lost to New England in the Super Bowl last year? Or if there was video of him playing around with a porn star? How about dancing naked in a video? Based on the heat he got just for not talking to the media one can only imagine.

Why are players Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Kane who had repeated problems with drinking and partying in his career, or former Atlanta Brave star Chipper Jones who cheated on his 1st wife, and may have on his 2nd seemingly not chastised with the same vehemence?

It is star power? Is it being the face of the franchise? Is it skin color? Or may a combination of them all. Whatever the answer is the debate remains. Do you think there is color or cultural bias in news reporting?

By Minister Jonathan Simmons (@MinisterJSimm)

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