Dealing with the media is part of an athlete’s job


Dez Rodriguez, Assistant Sports Editor

We’ve all seen it. The famous Marshawn Lynch post-game interview, more commonly remembered as the “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” interview.

The more I work in sports journalism, the more I understand how important of a role the media plays in sports. It’s understandable that some players like the spotlight while others don’t, but we live in a world with an obsessive media. Fans are always obsessing over star athletes and are looking to connect with them in some way.

That is why the four major sports organizations require players to talk to reporters. They have to continue to make the fans happy. After interviews are done, they are usually played on sports channels or used for local media outlets. It’s what helps keep people interested in both the players and the organizations that they play for. At the end of the day, it’s always going to be a business.

Athletes are paid millions of dollars a year to play their respective sports. It might have gotten lost in the fact that athletes are playing a game, but it is still their job. Part of their job obligations is to cooperate with the media, represent their teams properly and serve as a positive role model to the audience.

Athletes need the media. They are the ones putting fans in seats and money in the bank for the multi-million dollar athletes to benefit from. Friends or not, they need each other. It would actually make life easier on reporters if they didn’t have to worry about lack of participation from the athletes. Ultimately, it would keep the fans focused on the games instead of drama-filled postgame interviews. Wouldn’t athletes prefer their highlight plays be shown over news that they blew off the media? Reporters are always going to look out for themselves, so it’s best to have them on your side.

Athletes also don’t have to answer every single question that reporters ask them. They are allowed to ask for the next question if they are questioned about something that they don’t feel like talking about. As long as that response is not abused and as long as they participate and answer other questions the best that they can, no reporter will get mad. For pro athletes, taking part in interviews with reporters is their job. That is what they get paid to do, and the media is what’s helping them continue to get paid. After all, the media is only there so they won’t get fired.