In the past year we have had three major news conferences or statement readings that really come to mind. First we had Alex Rodriguez and his admission of steroid use. Which was eventually followed by Mark McGwire‘s interviews and then short media address at the Cardinals Winter Warm Up. Most recently, Tiger Woods, formerly golf’s golden-boy addressed the world to give some more information about his situation.
At some point, I’m sure each of the men listed above have been or will be criticized for the way they handled themselves during their press conferences. While they are the ones who put themselves in those situations, we need to realize that these individuals did not have to do anything near what they did. None of them were required by law to come forward and speak to the masses, but they have. So let’s just remember that.
We also need stop analyzing how they spoke. We shouldn’t be trying to evaluate their delivery, or the emotion and conviction in their voices. And the last thing we should do is criticize them for reading a prepared statement. People mention “these guys are used to speaking in front of the media after games”. That is a different situation completely. You think talking about golf after winning a tournament is the same as going before the world to admit that you cheated on your wife?
So I say the following to sports fans and journalists alike: quit criticizing the delivery and just listen to the words. Listen to the message and focus less on how “robotic” or “rehearsed” it is. And finally give these athletes the credit for coming forward and speaking in the first place.
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