Last month, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News brought a “feeding frenzy” to the door of newly acquired Met prospect Noah Snydergaard before the 20 year old was even formally introduced!
A tweet, posted on December 9th, which was remarking on the pair of shoes of someone Snydergaard follows, contained an euphemism usually used to describe someone trying to look a little too hip or feminine. At the very least it was a rib on someone’s fashion sense. The euphemism in question though is also one that is considered a derogatory word; and shorthand for a stronger word as well, towards those in the LGBT communities. Probably a poor choice of wording for someone who is in the public eye as words such as metrosexual, douchebag, and preppy would be just as insulting towards someone’s sense of style without going into their sexual orientation.
That being said, why is this a story? Snydergaard is a 20 year old athlete whom, most likely, was ribbing on a friend. To say nothing about the fact that the story came out some 9 days after the Tweet was sent, and has since been removed. Is there a pattern of Snydergaard making actual hateful remarks against those in the LGBT communities? Other ethnicities? Men who wear Crocs in general? Who knows, that was a tame and innocuous Tweet. Was it a poor choice of words as someone in the public eye? Yes, but hardly something to label someone a bigot over.
So, what is the problem here? Why exactly was Martino going through Snydergaard’s Twitter feed with a fine tooth comb and making it an “instant story?” Now, if Martino comes back with ample evidence, even if its anecdotal, and from mostly anonymous sources of Snydergaard being a complete homophobe, then yes there is a story. Not sure if its a story that needs to be told (unless it’s so overt that his behavior becomes a distraction to the clubhouse that he Is in), especially when the kid hadn’t even been introduced in a press conference yet, but nonetheless the story would have more basis to be put out there than some youthful messing around on a Twitter feed.
This isn’t the first time Martino has tried to introduce social relevancy of clashing demographics into a Met related topic. Back in March of 2011, Martino tried to correlate racial stereotypes associated with baseball players of Latin descent into why Met fans were so vitriolic when it came to the Whipping Boy de Jour, Luis Castillo. Never mind that Castillo himself wouldn’t take the bait in the article, but there is a pattern of trying to get smoke to appear so it seems a fire should follow.
And that comes back to the question, is this the media’s job? Especially in the social media age where someone in the public eye has to be so careful about what he or she does or says; so Snydergaard went to a word he shouldn’t have said, big deal right? Well, already looking at Twitter and Facebook it has been suggested that Snydergaard has been the target of “welcome to New York you bigot” type of Tweets and anger that he, again a 20 year old kid, would show the mentality of a “John Rocker” type. Instant hatred of someone simply because of a poor choice of describing someone’s fashion sense, and bear this in mind. One of the players the Mets traded for him, Josh Thole, quickly deactivated his Twitter account because he was getting too much hateful and disturbing Tweets.
Is this what the media is supposed to be doing?
It is doubtful Martino meant to sic the dogs on Snydergaard by going public with this non-story, but it is curious and therefore, was it necessary? Knowing how vitriolic anonymous social media messages can be, it can, and does, turn people in the public eye off from it. Likewise, would it shock anyone if this whole scenario turns Snydergaard off on the media in general? So again the question is, why was this done and clearly, is this what the media is supposed to be doing?
To answer the second question, no. This is clearly a non-news story, probably just meant to get something out. After all, if ever single instant of that word being used in that manner was made into the news, quite frankly you’d see a lot of young athletes and entertainers in “hot water.”