Saturday afternoon, The New York Times released an article, about David Ortiz and his article that made media outlets rumble over the weekend. On Thursday, March 26th, Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz took the media by the horns and spoke out against the media for slandering him and labeling him a drug user and a cheater. In 2003 Ortiz received a surprise visit at his home in the Dominican Republic from the MLB conducting a surprise drug test. When the PED test came back positive for an over the counter supplement, Ortiz was labeled as a cheater and it has changed the course of his legacy and job ever since.
The internet blew up, as word of Ortiz’s article The Dirt on The Players’ Tribune spread around and media platforms were upset that they did not have the chance to break the story with Ortiz’s personal commentary. Looking at this story from an outsider point of a view and as a sports fan, I think the fact that a media platform like The Player’s Tribune shows just how much of an impact media has on popular culture. For a long time the media has had full control over the stories that are posted, the sides of the stories that are published, and the voices that are heard. However, as social media has evolved and become mainstream in the Internet world, more people have the chance for their voices to be heard, especially those who are portrayed in a negative light most of the time.
Athletes are among one of the top entertainment groups that are slandered and talked about in the media. Media outlets are always focusing on drum beat stories mostly related to illegal drug abuse or misconduct in public. Personally it is refreshing to see athletes speak out about issues that are damaging their careers and their lives. Letting the facts and opinions be heard from a first person point of view without the opportunity to be misrepresented in the media.
There is a term that I recently learned called citizen journalism that I think embodies the position Ortiz was taking when he decided to publish this story. With the rise of social media and change in culture where everyone is connected to the world at the palm of their hand, it is easier now for everyone to be a journalist. Normal citizens can take photos or post tweets about a issue almost faster than a journalist can report on it. The media content produced by regular civilians is un edited and raw. Now although Ortiz’s article was clearly edited and drafted by him and the rest of the editing team, it still falls under the same concept. As the world changes and technology increases, more and more will story reporting be in the hands of the people rather than the journalist.
I strongly commend David Ortiz for taking the risk and posting his side of the story. Speaking out on his angers, frustration, and mistreatments by the MLB and the effects that it has had on his legacy and his family.