Nothing left to say

Athletes should not be required to talk to the media


Only 10% of the population loves public speaking, according to Forbes. Fortunately for everyone else, they aren’t typically forced into a position where they have to address masses of people. However, many athletes don’t get the same luxury. These players are regularly forced to speak to the media, and if they refuse, they face severe consequences.

One clear right that this rule infringes is free speech. This should allow a player to speak about a subject without consequences or choose to remain silent. However, when athletes do choose to remain silent, they could also face harsh ramifications such as high fines and suspensions. .NBA star and starting point guard for the Houston Rockets, Russell Westbrook, dislikes the media greatly and can be seen in many interviews walking out or ending them early. 

All athletes should have the choice to decline talking to the media or to refuse press conferences. If someone avoids talking to the media, they typically have a reason. Some athletes don’t wish to, or they are afraid of the media using what they say against them or against another team.

Former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch broke the NFL’s media policy during a press conference when he answered every question by saying, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.” Lynch was then fined $100,000. It is asinine to force players to talk against their will like this.

Another case of athletes being forced to talk to the media is when wrestler Anthony Ashnault won his NCAA finals match, and instead of being able to go over and hug his mom and celebrate with his family, he was stopped by the media to answer questions.

Many people might say that because they signed up to work for said organization, they can impose any sort of rules it wants to, however it is the companies job to make sure they aren’t forcing workers into any uncomfortable situations, especially ones that can and should be avoided.

Also, while some athletes just don’t like speaking publicly, it is even worse when they are forced to talk to people right after a hard fought loss, I know from experience that I need my time and space after a loss and hate having people talk to me after so for people to be forced talk to media outlets right after would just be wrong.

Although athletes are there for entertainment purposes, they are still humans with the same rights as everyone else. They shouldn’t be forced to be in any uncomfortable situations with the media that non-athletes can choose to refuse.