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The Negative Side of Media. Attacking Athletes and Creating Drama

Updated on February 26, 2018
Wide Receiver, Odell Beckham Jr of the New York Giants at a press conference
Wide Receiver, Odell Beckham Jr of the New York Giants at a press conference

The Use of Media to Report False or Negative Information

Sports and media have gone hand and hand together for some years now, making the members of the media flourish in reports. The job of these media members is to create articles or publicize stories to the fans across the globe. Figuring out what the fans want to see or hear makes the life of a reporter much easier as they are able to go straight to the money making topics. And although positive stories are written as well, the members of media have found that publishing stories that are either false or negative about athletes garner a lot of attention. As horrible as it is, it's just in some people's nature to be drawn towards drama and the struggles of others.

Russell Westbrook (Left) and Kevin Durant (Right) in the Western Conference Finals
Russell Westbrook (Left) and Kevin Durant (Right) in the Western Conference Finals

History of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant

Coming out of college, both Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant were highly regarded as two very talented and special players. Westbrook, from UCLA, and Durant from the University of Texas both ended up being drafted by the Seattle Supersonics who later on relocated to become the Oklahoma City Thunder. Kevin spent one year on the team ('07) when they were in Seattle before they moved and drafted Westbrook ('08). Both of their rookie seasons were filled with great individual statistics but the two seasons combined for just 43 wins of 164 total games.

For the 8 years the two all-stars spent together in Oklahoma City, what seemed to be a life-long friendship had formed. They had been through everything together in which the NBA had to offer. From all-star games, to playoff games, and even 5 games in the NBA Finals. The combination of skill, determination, and relentless effort had catapulted them to the top of the NBA scene. Along the way, they were climbing into the top 10 of basically every major statistical category in franchise history including total points, steals, games played, and minutes played.

Turning Point Where Media Created Non-existent "Beef"

After a long series lost 4-3, against the Golden State Warriors in the conference finals, the off season had come around and it was time for free agent Kevin Durant to make a decision on where he would play basketball for the next year/s. Some of the more probable landing spots in which he was expected to sign to consisted of his home state Maryland (Washington Wizards), the young team in Boston, the dynasty in San Antonio or the team that drafted him in Oklahoma. Durant had come to a decision and when the announcement was ready, he revealed that he was signing with the team that just beat him in the conference finals, the Warriors.

Although he did meet with the team in free agency the general thought of him signing with the best team in the league was not in many peoples' mind. When the news came out of his decision, social media blew up as well as many other media outlets. Criticism on how weak of a move it was and outrage over the manner of how he left his previous team came crashing down upon Durant.

Media of "Westbrook VS Durant"

Information came out revealing that Kevin Durant did not tell his long time friend Russell Westbrook that he was leaving Oklahoma City to join Golden State face-to-face but said his goodbye through a text message. In a desperate race to get the most publicity from this information, media sources threw together articles and tweets attempting to form some kind of rivalry between the two.

As much as the media wants these two to have problems with one another, they have maintained cool on the situation for the most part. The only problems came from a few altercations on the court, but they attribute this to the highly competitive spirits the two athletes have. In response to a member of the media, Russell commented, "I play the same way every night. Whether it's against Kevin, whether it's against... Reggie Jackson. Dennis Smith on Saturday. It doesn't matter who it is. On the court, I don't got no friends". The most ironic thing about this whole situation is the fact that the only two people that should be involved in the situation to begin with (Durant and Westbrook), are the only two moving on. To this day there are still commercials advertising games for Warriors versus Thunder with just Russell and Kevin in the ad.

Warriors VS Thunder (Russell VS Kevin) Ad

Odell's pre-game cleats calling out all media outlets.
Odell's pre-game cleats calling out all media outlets.

Odell Beckham Jr and His Encounters With the Media

Odell has been under scrutiny ever since he came into the league back in 2014. The highly talented wide receiver out of LSU has captured the attention of millions all around the world due to his flashy play making ability. He has been known to express himself more than some would like but this is his personality. Media and viewers all over the world criticize his style of being too cocky, arrogant, and emotional.

In 2016, Odell and the Giants faced off against the Redskins. Odell was having a great game with 7 receptions for 121 yards while battling Josh Norman in coverage. Hope was left with the Giants as they had a chance to win the game but quarterback Eli Manning threw a pick. With frustration from the loss, Beckham went to the sideline and hit a kicking net with his helmet. The kicking net bounced back and hit Odell right in the head; members of the media jumped on this. Of course, the articles and news the following day included the incident Odell had. They knew that this headline would get more attention than the contributions he made on the field with over 100 yards in the game.

Just another topic of discussion to ruin Odell's reputation. With the long list of headlines Odell has made since his debut in the NFL, the media has fixed their target on him. They find that he is very easy to write on and make him look like someone he is not. Even as of late, he has had to make comments on how members of the media need to grow up just like he is trying to. The struggle for athletes and having troubling articles on them continues and as long as people are interested in seeing these writings, then unfortunately they will not stop.

Impact of Media in the Sports World

Do you think social media and media in general has caused many unnecessary problems throughout the sports world that could have otherwise been avoided?

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