While watching media coverage of the Super Bowl this morning, I was bothered by yet another stereotypical question about football players and women.
During a press conference, a reporter blurted out during an interview with a reluctant Marshawn Lynch and fullback Michael Robinson, “So it’s all about football or women or both.”
This question bothers me on multiple levels. First of all, these men are professionals who are the best at what they do. Would you ask John Thain, the CEO of Merrill Lynch, if his life is all about stocks and women? (And trust me, as a former stockbroker, the movie, “The Wolf of Wall Street” wasn’t too far from the norm….) Would you pose that question to an NFL owner or to Roger Goodell? I’ll answer that…No! No reporter would dare disrespect one of them like that. So why should we treat players that way?
Secondly, it’s the media’s job to report both favorable and unfavorable news. Unfortunately, the stories about mistresses and strippers appeal more to the public than the family man in a loving relationship with his wife. So those are the stories that get more air-time.
Although there are infidelity and troubled relationships in the NFL – just like there are with everyone else – there are just as many players with a stable family life at home. And it’s not the media’s job to perpetuate the stereotype that all football players are sex-crazed, womanizing, stripper lovers.
Dumb questions like that make Lynch’s reluctance to speak to the media understandable. But Michael Robinson had the perfect answer that hopefully put that reporter right in his place.