Kevin Burnett to Reporter: Put on Some Pads, Homeboy
When you play for a team that is underachieving and seeing its playoff hopes quickly fade away only four weeks into the season, it is tough to avoid frustration. The most recent example of anger boiling over during postgame press conferences has been Michael Vick, who lashed out at the referees last week and and this week became infuriated when a writer asked him what his feelings were on dropping to 1-3. Kevin Burnett, a linebacker for the 0-4 Dolphins, outdid Vick during during an interview after Sunday’s loss to the Chargers.
“I don’t know how you want to talk to me, homeboy” Burnett said to the reporter who is unnamed at the moment. “If you’ve got something to say, come at me like a man, homeboy. Don’t hide behind no computer. Hey, if you want to see if I can tackle, you put on some pads, homeboy. Don’t get mad. Why you’re going to criticize the team in your own hometown, boy? You’re supposed to support the home team.”
Where to begin? There are so many things wrong with this mini-rant. First and foremost, the job of a sports journalist is in no way to cover the hometown team. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Sports writers are supposed to be objective and neutral — or at least as much as possible. If the home team is playing horribly, their job is to criticize that team.
I have not seen what the reporter wrote, but I can’t imagine it was anything that warranted being called “homeboy” and “boy” several times. I’m no moral poster boy, but that’s pretty disrespectful. Unless a reporter indirectly asks you to take a pay cut, there’s no need to go Jim Calhoun on them. Most importantly: Do you think the reporter will strap on the pads?