Sports Go Beyond Sports


Maybe it’s just the journalism major in me that makes me this way. Every day in classes journalists are put on a pedestal and we openly celebrate the great ones. My professors are usually talking about hard news reporters, not sports reporters, but they still have a tough job.

If you think sports are just sports, you are wrong. Look at what some select St. Louis Rams did last Sunday in their protest of the Ferguson ruling and it’s clear that is true. Sports go beyond sports.

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We as a country idolize our sports and celebrity icons a little too much. We want to know their opinions on everybody and everything. We crave that as a society. That’s why TMZ is a raging success.

The beautiful thing about athletes is that they don’t necessarily have to let their opinions be known. Athletes have athletic skill and the amazing skill to deflect a question, a skill that Torii Hunter does not apparently have.

Hunter’s opinion on homosexuality has been known for years now. When an athlete brings that up, it’s free game.

Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press took it and ran with it. Good for him.

Berardino asked if Hunter’s views affected his market this offseason when looking for a new team. That’s a fair question. It’s an uncomfortable question still in today’s society, but a fair question.

Hunter proceeded to call Berardino a prick and told him to stick to baseball questions. You can read Berardino’s piece about the encounter and questioning here.

I received a tweet last night that said the reporter should stick to baseball topics, too.

It was a baseball topic. Berardino did not say Hunter’s opinions were wrong, right or otherwise. Berardino didn’t really even ask about Hunter’s opinions on marriage. Berardino asked about Hunter’s opinion on if his opinion hurt his job search. A job search for a new BASEBALL team to play with. It’s a baseball question.

That tweet I received I was asking for. The Twins sent out a tweet asking for questions for Torii, I provoked and I was provoked back.

I understand that we all have different opinions and the fact that we can openly state ours in this country is a beautiful thing. We take that freedom for granted sometimes, I believe. Free speech leads to free questioning, especially when you’re in the public spotlight.

Torii Hunter never had to make his opinion public, but he did, multiple times. Berardino has to ask questions, that’s his job.

Hunter is still sacred to some fans and it’s believed that introductory press conferences should be joyful and fun, but sometimes the hard questions need to be asked.

Agree or disagree with Hunter’s views, that’s beside the point. Berardino was just doing his job.

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