You’re always on – act accordingly

Many years ago, we published a story in the STAA website headlines about a sportscaster getting busted for drugs. That afternoon, someone with a Major League Baseball team correctly pointed out that STAA had traditionally celebrated sportscasters’ successes. He thought publication of news about a sportscaster’s hardship was misplaced.

I agreed.

Since then, we’ve avoided dozens of stories, ranging from drug and alcohol abuse, to domestic violence and embezzlement.

When you’re a public figure, you give up some degree of personal privacy and should act accordingly. If an accountant gets drunk in a bar, nobody cares. If a local sportscaster does it, it’s making news before his hangover passes.

Sportscasters have smaller margin for error than most professionals. Wherever you are, you’re always on. A bar. Grocery store. The gym. Stuck in traffic. Decisions should be made accordingly. There are guys lined up around the corner who would do what you do for half of what you’re paid to do it.

Initially, that’s all this post was going to be about.

As I wrote, though, it started sounding sanctimonious. Having not struggled with alcohol or drug abuse, I can’t understand the depth of those challenges. Think of this post less as a reprimand and more of a reminder:

You are a public figure. Decisions that other people can get away with without consequence can cost you embarrassment, loss of dignity and loss of job.