In today’s “mainstream” media, there is a growing list of rules that cannot ever be broken.
Chief among them is for reporters to not disagree with the prevailing narrative the rest of the media is pushing.
That’s exactly why this longtime NFL reporter was recently fired after he defended this star quarterback.
By now, everyone knows about the Deshaun Watson saga.
With 22 women anonymously accusing him of sexual misconduct and assault, the majority of the sports media has ultimately decided that he’s guilty, and should never play another down in the NFL.
And that’s apparently the narrative that everyone in the media must believe and push, or risk being fired for daring to suggest that something else could possibly be going on.
Longtime Houston Chronicle NFL reporter Aaron Wilson recently proved that too, as his appearance on a Boston radio show in which he defended Deshaun Watson and suggested that this entire saga was an orchestrated money grab ultimately cost him his job.
Speaking on WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show, Wilson suggested that based on his knowledge of the case, the lawsuits against Watson were a “money grab” and “ambulance chasing.”
“In his case, you know, it’s kind of you don’t negotiate with terrorists,” Wilson said. “People are demanding money, they’re asking for money. It kept escalating, it kept going up and up and up. You’re talking about more and more funds, I’m not going to say how much it got to, but my understanding is, you know, that there was an admission that, it was, you know, something, you know just that this was, you know, just a money grab.”
Obviously, based on the way Wilson delivered that quote, he knew that by admitting his understanding of what is going on behind the scenes, he was stepping into a controversy that the rest of the media would not like.
In addition to that radio appearance, Wilson also wrote a lengthy piece for the Houston Chronicle in which he quoted many of Watson’s friends and associates who all expressed doubt about the allegations.
Needless to say, Wilson’s reporting bucked the rest of the media’s narrative, and because of that, his fate was inevitable.
On Friday afternoon, the Houston Chronicle’s sports department held a Zoom meeting in which the paper’s sports editor Reid Laymance informed the staff that Wilson was no longer employed by the company.
While Laymance reportedly did not discuss why Wilson was no longer employed by the Chronicle, and apparently did not mention Wilson’s reporting on the lawsuits against Deshaun Watson, Laymance did tell the rest of the staff to be mindful of what they say on other platforms.
However, the Houston Chronicle’s executive director Steve Riley reportedly sent an email to the entire staff two hours before that sports department meeting in which Riley detailed how the staff should report on the Watson case.
“The sexual assault allegations against Deshaun Watson bring those standards front and center,” Riley wrote. “This note serves as a reminder that as we report, analyze and describe those allegations, those who bring them and the person they are brought against, we must approach the story with fairness and care toward all involved. Given the frequency of content we are creating, on a growing number of print and digital channels, our editors must also be more vigilant with our oversight of coverage on all platforms.”
Clearly, Wilson’s reporting did not fit neatly into the media narrative that has been created around the Deshaun Watson scandal, and therefore, Wilson was fired.
Whether or not Wilson was right or wrong in how he delivered what he believes is the truth about the case based on his own inquiries into the matter, he was silenced for reporting his findings.
We’ve seen plenty of cases in which others in the media have reported stories that were proven to be completely false, but they were defended by the rest of the media because they were merely reporting what they had found.
Aaron Wilson didn’t get that same benefit of the doubt from his colleagues because his reporting didn’t fit their narrative.
And unfortunately, that’s simply how the media functions in today’s world.
Stay tuned to Sports with Balls for any updates to this ongoing story.