GREAT MOMENTS IN ENTITLEMENT: Bucs reporter under fire for grilling Gio Bernard after botched fake punt.
When Marshawn Lynch sat before Super Bowl media so he would not get fined, it spoke to a tenuous relationship between NFL athletes and journalists.
Yes, NFL athletes are usually required to speak to the media, but journalists are expected to respect the boundaries of athletes as well, especially when present in a locker room following a humiliating loss.
So when Bucs running back Giovani Bernard tried to exit the locker room and reconvene with his family, he was stopped by a group of Bucs reporters who wanted him to answer to a costly botched fake punt in the game.
Bucs reporter Jenna Laine shared a video of that interaction, describing the fake punt as “the most pivotal play of the game” (although there were several Bucs penalties that contradict that assertion). Laine also added a note preemptively, as if she knew the video would spark outrage across the sports landscape: “As reporters, it is our job to seek clarity on what happened.”
Although this is true, athletes, journalists and fans disagreed with the manner in which the impromptu interview was conducted, leading Laine to defend herself in Twitter comments.
As reporters lament the lacking opportunity to speak with Bernard all year, Bernard looks flabbergasted by the way media members feel owed an explanation for the fake punt mishap.
With one reporter astonishingly asking,“What have you done for us to talk to you all year?”
“Can I go to my family that I have outside, and… all the sudden, now?” Bernard asks.
“Just don’t say we didn’t talk to you all year,” a reporter responded tersely.
“We just wanted to ask for your perspective on what happened there,” Laine said.
“You were involved in one of the biggest plays of the game,” another reporter chimed in.
Here’s the clip of the exchange:
“What have you done for us to talk to you all year?” is one of the most inappropriate and condescending comments I have ever seen a reporter make to someone they cover. Wow. Just terrible. https://t.co/uXzyA7WWWF
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) December 19, 2022
To paraphrase the Nazi writer of “Springtime for Hitler” in Mel Brooks’ The Producers, “You are the athlete; I am the journalist. I outrank you!”