A group of Cleveland Cavaliers players are refusing to stay at a Trump hotel in New York City. Journalists need to tell readers and viewers why
Wouldn’t it be nice if some journalist, somewhere, would add context to the coverage around a handful of Cleveland Cavaliers’, including LeBron James, refusal to stay at a Trump Hotel in New York? It’s been frustrating to read news reports, from The Hill and others, which imply the athletes are declining to stay at the hotel because they are Hillary Clinton supporters.
News reports, including Hellman’s, don’t outright state as fact that sour grapes is behind the athletes’ decision. But the reports don’t leave much room for readers not to reach this conclusion. If journalists don’t know, why not just ask? And when you get the answer, how about sharing it with readers and viewers. Isn’t that the very nature of your jobs?
For the record, for many people of color the decision not to step foot inside a hotel with president-elect Donald Trump’s name on it has nothing to do with Clinton, and everything to do with the hate and racism stirred up by Trump’s presidential campaign, and continues to be associated with his pending administration.
If journalists ask the right questions, which would allow them to add context to their reporting, we wouldn’t get ignorant responses like this one from Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton, who falsely stated that no athletes ever boycotted President Barack Obama. Neither Mediaite – nor TMZ, which originally reported the claim – bothered to set the record straight, but AllDigitocracy will.
In 2013, The New York Daily News ticked off several athletes that had snubbed Obama, including not showing up at the White House at the president’s invitation. The most publicized of these is perhaps Baltimore Ravens center Mark Birk who stood up Obama shortly after winning the Super Bowl in 2013. Birk chose not to go to the White House, he said, because of Obama’s pro-choice stance on abortion.
All of this, of course, is context. Context missing from many of today’s news reports. Context easily found by journalists if they’d do a simple internet search. Context that will help journalists produce more credible news reports.