Opinion: The Need for Sports Media Responsibility
By Jesse Heitz
Last night I opened up my web browser to find a particularly unusual story. I was instantly grabbed by the downright scandalous title, which read, “Porn Star slams ex-UFC champ”. Naturally, I read the article. After all, how could you not. Surely it would provide some nice fodder for this writer.
However, the story quickly turned ugly. It had absolutely nothing to do with fighting or MMA, other than it featured jabber about the bad blood between former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Tito Ortiz, and his former longtime girlfriend, porn star, Jenna Jameson. The entirety of the rather brief article focused not on any tolerable drama such as a rift between the two due to his desire to compete or the toll that competition took on him during his final MMA run, but on what was essentially a custody dispute.
I must admit that I was a little taken aback by this article, which was produced and prominently featured by Fox Sports. That it aired essentially an entire Twitter conversation between the two, which was better suited for taking place behind closed doors, or at least inside of a courtroom.
Yet, the sports media published the entirety of their social media conversation, posting virtually all of Jameson’s Tweets, which included gems such as,
“My ex took my poor children away from me for NO reason. He did drugs and faked drug tests for UFC. I all my time with my babies, he partied”
“And I have proof!”
“He can say whatever he wants, but I know the truth. He beat me, and never was a father, bullied me, then disallowed my poor babies”
Tito, responded in a classy fashion, tweeting,
“The unfortunate allegations being made against me are simply not true. I would never do anything to jeopardize my family. Being a great father and protecting the well-being of my children remain my top priority. I thank my family, friends, and fans for their kind words of support at this time. For my children’s sake, I appreciate you respecting our privacy.”
All of this was a mere sampling of a conversation that major sport outlets had decided to air in full. Jameson, who just a month ago was charged with suspicion of battery, made comment after comment on Twitter accusing Ortiz of drug use, domestic abuse, poor parenting, you name it. She even went to the lengths of taking pictures of his alleged prescriptions, one of which was the notorious Ibuprofen in 800mg strength.
Now, my issue here is, did the public need to see this nonsense? Did we need to see the incensed and irresponsible ramblings of Jenna Jameson? I don’t claim to know the inner-workings of their former or current relationship and the apparent abundance of animosity that seems to go with it, whether or not there’s any truth to her accusations. But let’s face it, this story was eerily similar to celebrity gossip, some tend to erroneously refer to it as “reporting”.
Ultimately, this was a story entirely unworthy of a play-by-play from the prominent sports media outlets. This story was paramount to anything that has to do with Kardashians, insofar as it’s entirely and utterly worthless.