The Media is Playing to the Worst-Case Scenario

The Media is Playing to the Worst-Case Scenario

Latino media grapples with how to cover the Nury Martinez scandal

The fallout from the allegations that New York Mets outfielder Nury Martinez engaged in a sex act on a flight on his way to a Dominican Winter League showcase has taken on a public health twist with media outlets trying to put a new spin on it.

To hear a reporter tell it, Martinez had the misfortune of being subjected to the very type of harassment that makes headlines on his path to a baseball career in the first place. If that weren’t bad enough, the media has been forced to grapple with a host of questions they don’t want to, like who decided what happened, how the allegations should be approached, how much more evidence there needs to be, and what constitutes more than harassment by a baseball player.

“The media is playing to the worst-case scenario,” said former Mets general manager Steve Phillips. “They always have with [Martinez], but this is something different.”

Martinez is the latest in a line of baseball players who have been charged with sexual misconduct, and the story is just the latest example of the kind of headlines that have made headlines in recent years. Many of them have received a great deal of attention due to the severity of the allegations, as well as the impact they’ve had on other athletes (e.g. NFL quarterback Michael Vick, former NBA player Ron Artest, and former MLB outfielder Alex Rodriguez) who have publicly admitted to wrongdoing.

New York Times reporter Nick Wing

The issue became particularly sticky because Martinez and his agent have not said anything about the allegations — but instead have tried to focus on the future. This story, they say, came about after they met and a deal was struck.

“I had dinner with his agent at the last home game,” said former Atlanta Braves player Terry Adams. “The next thing I knew, ESPN and other newspapers were doing everything they could to make this story bigger and bigger. They were trying to paint Nury as a victim.”

As of press time, ESPN had not had any comment on the story or any of the other allegations

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