Are tragic events taboos in sports journalism? Part 2

License:  CC0 Public Domain

License: CC0 Public Domain

This is a continuation piece of a bigger post, so please read part 1 below before reading this, it will not make too much sense otherwise, thank you.

I have a theory. What is sports? If we break it down as much as we can, in the end it’s all a game, a match, a race or whatever the term, it is a trivial competition. I know, I know, sports is a lot more, it can mean a lot more for a person, a family, a group, a region and even a country, but when we break it down as much as we can, it is trivial, it is an escape. I know, the media knows and many (don’t feel secure enough to say most) people know that there are more important issues going on then sports news. ISIS, Boko Harem, the Israeli-Palestine conflict, global warming, poverty, starvation, these are just a few issues going on right now, it’s not like there isn’t enough important issues going on that we need to cover sports to have something to write about. Sports is an escape for many, people turn to sports to get away from the “serious” news, they want trivial news.

Many of you knows the term “the media loves scandals and tragedy’s”, I wouldn’t say that it’s wrong either. The media gets more “clicks” and more viewers on those kind of stories, then they do on happier “kitten stories”. My theory is that in sport news scandals sell, tragedies does not. The difference you ask? I separate them like this; it’s a scandal if there is doping involved, it’s a scandal if it’s corruption involved, but it’s a tragedy if serious danger occurs or lives are lost. This is just my opinion thinking back on things I’ve read and how much the different stories have been covered, but I would love to hear back from you. What do you think, am I way off?


2 thoughts on “Are tragic events taboos in sports journalism? Part 2

  1. Hey Thomas,
    This is a very interesting post and I actually agree with what you are saying. There are a lot of bad things going on in the world that should be brought to attention. But in the world of sports, scandal sells, but I think thats true for anything that goes on in the media. People just like scandal because its interesting and dramatic and it gets people’s attentions. But when scandals overshadow other good things going on and take over the sport, that’s when things get bad.

    Look at 2013 when MLB had the huge scandal with all the players doing PED’s, particularly with A-Rod. That completely took over the sport and it was very sad to see. But again, thats what people were interested in.


  2. Thomas! This was such a cool post. Being a retired athlete, I do think sports is a very touchy subject for most and scandals DEFINITELY occur, so I totally agree with you! I think you’re right when you say people love tragedy and how there is a fine line between tragedy and scandal.


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