I should feel like saying “#^&* Jason Whitlock” but I can’t do that, here is why. I reached out to Jason to do my show as a national columnist, author and man of color who takes controversial stands on a number of topics including race, ethics, and general behavior in the world of sports. I called Jason and after a terse dismissive phone call in which I was told how to possibly set-up an interview. I was a little offended at the tone in which I was spoken to, and let him know that in a email, in which he responded in kind explaining that if he spent his working day accommodating producers, requests etc…that he would have no life.
I respect that, and understand his time his very valuable, but at the same time there is a way to handle that situation, and a way not to in terms of general respect. There is not a lot of black national columnists or sports radio talk show hosts. We usually at least will listen to each other, especially someone like me who can leave an impression with whoever I interact with. Trust me…I leave an impression.
“That being said” a mentor of mine who is high powered in the national media told me not to take it personal, because he is like that with anyone who can’t help him, or what he trying to achieve, so I guess contrary to what some may believe, its not all we look out and help each other in black media. Though I was dissed, I still respect and agree with some opinions, and disagree with some of his columns and find that my personal interaction with him will not influence my opinion of his columns.
If you saw the CostasNow town hall meeting on HBO there are a number of topics that were broached that are worth commenting on. The one that stuck out for me was the relationship between media and athletes. Contrary to what the perceptions are out there, most athletes are accepting of criticism, if fair and not biased with opinions or agendas based on reporters, columnists and other media pundits feelings.
The funny thing is as a member of the media, I have 2 general rules that work for me; It is not who you are it is what you do, how I deal and interact with you will impact my opinion of you. A lot of my colleagues don’t carry that thought process and allow that to impact their coverage of athletes, teams etc…I’m not saying I am not flawed, or biased on certain things, lord knows I’m opinionated!
I really try to find that balance in what I do. I feel that is fair to you as a reporter, a sports-talk show host or blogger (a topic I will address in a later blog wearing all those hats). The day I can’t differentiate the three different duties-jobs is the day I should not represent you in that locker room, at that game, on the radio or blogging.
I close knowing I have quite a bit to talk about with the Brewers, Bucks, Favre, NBA Playoffs and other major events in the world of sports, stay tuned I will pick-up the pace.
Its about time I got a lap-top…stay tuned!
Steve Haywood, Host of “That Being Said”
ESPN Radio 540 Milwaukee