They say when a good girl goes bad, she’s gone forever. Apparently, the same theory applies to sports media personnel.
Renowned sports personality, Jim Gray, has made a couple of unfortunate missteps over the past month or so. The first was taking part in the ESPN circus-act that was “The Decision,” during which he lobbed softball questions to LeBron James before James announced his decision to head to the Miami Heat. The second came a few days ago, when a dispute erupted between Gray and Ryder Cup team Captain, Corey Pavin.
The problem with Pavin stemmed from Gray reporting that Pavin told him that he would select Tiger Woods as a member of his Ryder Cup team with his captain’s choice selection. The day after Gray made the statement, Pavin publicly denied making such a claim, saying he had not settled on Woods as his choice for the team.
What could have been filed away as a simple misunderstanding between athlete and reporter (not at all unusual) turned into a confrontation at Pavin’s press conference yesterday morning at the PGA Championship in Wisconsin (very unusual).
USA Today golf reporter, Steve DiMeglio described the event as it unfolded via his Twitter account:
"In an eyeball to eyeball conversation, Gray actually stuck his finger in Pavin’s face. USA Ryder Cup captain and Jim Gray have heated exchange after presser. 'You’re a liar,' Gray said to Pavin. 'You’re going down.'”
Since then, Pavin’s wife has come out and confirmed the comments made to her husband.
Today, “The Golf Channel” released the following statement on the matter:
"The Golf Channel stands 100 percent behind the accuracy of Jim Gray’s report. As far as any subsequent conversation between Jim and Corey Pavin, it was meant to be private and should remain as such."
Again, miscommunication amongst athletes and reporters is nothing new. The issue could have simply gone away and not been made into a headline if Gray hadn’t elected to make it one. This entire ordeal speaks to a bigger issue of media personalities reading their own print too much. It seems like these days, the press isn’t as concerned with delivering the story as it is with being the story.