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May 20 / King Kaufman

Austin Box: An apology, and another chance to learn

Bleacher Report apologizes for the article yesterday discussing Austin Box’s tragic death in the context of the upcoming Oklahoma football season. The article didn’t meet Bleacher Report’s editorial standards and was quickly deleted from the site.

Just last week I slapped an ESPN writer for doing something similar in the wake of the death of Alabama football player Aaron Douglas, then posted here about how to handle — and how not to handle — sensitive, important news.

Of course it’s just as wrong when we do it as when someone else does it.

If you’re a Bleacher Report writer, please review last week’s blog post. Here is the key point:

A death is a tragedy. If it’s the death of an active athlete, it will certainly affect a depth chart somewhere, or a pennant race or a playoff series or next week’s game. But those are separate conversations, for different times …

Sports is sports and life is life. Sometimes — usually — the two intersect. That’s part of what makes sports so compelling. But there are times when sports has to take a back seat, to retire from the field for a little while.

  • Bama2011Champs

    What if the kid actually worked for Alabama Football and experienced the Alabama Tornado before he wrote the article because he completely understood death after seeing it and wasent just the typical outsider fan? Would you believe it if he told you the media used him as an example and you completely missed his spiritual and emotional point that led him to a #1 National ranking last summer on your site covering not the #1 team but the #2 team as well?

    Would you believe it if he told you that he lost his only parent as a teenager too and became one of the first African-Americans in his program to graduate on orphan status? The same school that basically started the Civil Rights movement with the George Wallace incident.

  • JackieF

    You do realize ESPN hired this kid to be an engineer months after this happened right? The kid votes All Americans now for Walter Camp too and has been doing it for years.

    I think you just blew this out of proportion along with the rest of our College Football community….

  • Mark WIlliams

    You might be wrong King, this is what Monte said on his social media after being hired by ESPN:

    “Bleacher Report & Turner Sports took my name and used it as collateral to protect their management and editors after an emotional outreach they approved went sour in front of the public. This is why I am turned off by the entertainment industry as a whole and probably won’t chase this dream long term because we have bigger issues to face as a country. Most of you don’t make decent money compared to IT but put off this image like you do because its behind a camera and glorified through shady networking.

    Last year at the Final Four, my Dad was literally losing his life and I was still at work because I wanted to compete in my job in order to provide for my family.

    I’m an African-American and my thought process is different than yours because I’m tougher than you.”

    • King_Kaufman

      What is it that I might be wrong about?

      I don’t what incident Monte’s referring to in the above quote. The incident referred to in this post happened 15 months before B/R became a part of Turner.