You are 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.

1 Comment

  1. Bill Oliver

    Something else to consider from another public figure.

    It is the consequences…good and otherwise…when exercising the right of free speech.

    If you think you know what I am referring to, the current “elephant in the room” is barely the tip of the iceberg.

    Here’s the first thing that came to my mind. Like Jon, I can not understand the depth of life challenges. But I am learning from the author of another blog, who is sharing their current life experiences. They have been totally pouring out their heart as ONE victim of the actions of someone near and dear to them. More at

    Going down this road, my observation also applies to exercising free speech when actually “speaking”. There is the old cliché that you can’t take it back once it’s out there. The Internet may be forever. But our vocal words have the same impact in our personal, social, and professional relationships.

    In response to Jon’s last paragraph, our actions affect the lives of people who are probably not public figures. There is nothing like the warm fuzzy or goosebumps when you receive a complement in a personal, social, and/or professional circle for something you did or said or wrote. As a public figure, you also have to be ready to take the hit when you take the responsible action that you have to do.

    Make sure you are taking a responsible action.


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