In journalism, you are to report on facts. Facts should be what you live by–the butter to your bread. Your facts are what you live off of. They are as sacred as the air you breathe. Your journalistic life depends on them. Now of course you are allowed to throw your opinion into what you’re reporting every once in a while, however, your opinion should always be based off of fact. If your facts cannot be connected to your opinion then you must stay away from it.
Opinion is a very dangerous thing; especially when it comes to a subject that you are covering. Your sources must be those that are credible and those that are consistent. A trustworthy source is something that a journalist needs to live. Without it, you can’t do anything.
That brings me to this, we must stop accusing Dwight Howard of things that are not for certain. Howard is the most recent case of reporting gone wrong and sources lacking integrity among a long list of cases just like this one. One days ago, it was reported that Dwight Howard told owner Rich DeVos that he did not want to play for Stan Van Gundy anymore.
The fallout from the SVG interview where he stated that Dwight asked for him to be fired was like a train speeding down a track that led to a pit of its own demise. There is no brake to this train, and it’s going 900 miles per hour to its doom. Howard was thrown under the bus by Van Gundy and it had been revealed that he couldn’t trust people within the Magic organization.
People were beginning to insinuate that Dwight Howard was only faking his back injury and that he was spineless for quitting on his team. This turned out not to be the case. The back injury that was keeping Howard out was quite real. In fact, it was severe enough to keep him out for the remainder of the season, including the playoffs.
Everyone was quick to take back their gestures of Howard not being available because he didn’t want to. Those that were calling him spineless before had a change of heart once this was reported. A back injury is a serious thing and should not be played with. It was reported that Howard was told he would need surgery for a herniated disc in his back at the re-evaluation of his injury yesterday morning. It should be evident to us that the weight of the Orlando Magic, a team with no direction, had finally begun to ware on Howard.
The venom from all of these Howard and Van Gundy reports should have never reached this height. Sloppy reporting is the culprit here and whoever reported it should lose their job. They say that where there is smoke, there is always fire. However, whoever started the fire here is at fault. This man’s character has been brought into question and people are judging him outside of his play on the basketball court. As a sports reporter, it is your job to indulge on Howard’s on the floor play. What goes on off of it should be left to the likes of TMZ and Access Hollywood. We’re sports journalists, not low-class yellow-journalists–we need to act as such.
I am appalled by the treatment that Howard has gotten thus far in his situation. By best wishes are with him and his–back injuries hit close to home for me. I know how serious they can be and how much of a bother they are to take care of. Doctors say that he will be ready to play ball in four months, and hopefully that holds true. Until then, lets leave his character out of this.