Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Ray McDonald 49ers' Story Has Nothing To Do With Sports; That's Why They Still Call it the Toy Department; Thursday First Take

 Sports-Talk Radio Hosts should stay away from the Ray McDonald story.

This is NOT a sports story--it's a legal issue that involves an athlete who plays professional football for the 49ers.

Well, until now.

Too many times, sports pundits; the entire sports medium; has no business discussing legal issues because they have no idea what the hell they're talking about--worse yet, they interject sports into the legal arena and it sounds both out of place and foolish.

That's why they still say, in journalism, sports is the toy department.

Just yesterday on KNBR I heard a guy--can't remember who--say that McDonald seemed to be "playing better since his prior legal case wasn't brought forward since the DA had no evidence"--it sounded ridiculous because the host, clearly out of place and out of mind, tried to make a non-sports point. It was both inappropriate and stupid; furthermore, it trivialized what was, and is, very serious potential criminal charges against the player, but it has nothing to do with sports. Nothing.

Too many times, we see this play out on a daily basis --the only real element of the Ray McDonald story that makes sense from a sporting standpoint is how the 49ers dealt with it before and after--Lowell Cohn of the Press-Democrat breaks that down in a very good piece about the idea of "due process." Cohn spells out some legitimate questions--it's pretty much devoid of sports as it should be and is well written.

This issue is an across-the-board indictment--it's not just the sports-talk radio hosts; it involves the TV and radio guys too. I like what ESPN does; (and me complimenting ESPN is rare)--they hired Roger Cossack, a legal analyst who does a great job breaking down cases for the laymen public. It's not only informative and interesting--more importantly it provides the proper illustration without the use of sports dialogue. ESPN, to their credit, seems to get it. Others, unfortunately, are out of the loop.

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  1. He's innocent until proven guilty, like it or not, that's our system.

  2. Private employers are not bound by due process you stupid fool.

    1. "He's innocent until proven guilty, like it or not, that's our system."

      12:02 did not say anything about being bound by Due Process.

  3. Thanks Wellen, you're another genius.

  4. Excellent post Rich. And you're absolutely right. Some sports talk hosts are idiots if they try to talk about anything outside of sports.