Morello: Reserving an Athletes Right to Privacy Even After a Tragedy

The invasion of privacy that athletes are subjected to in this industry is stomach turning. The justification that, we the public have a right to know is inhumane.

The passing of Royals Yordano Ventura last weekend started out with teammates and fans mourning the loss of their beloved pitcher. Some of Ventura’s greatest MLB memories were shared on social media and the MLB community shared the pain of losing another player too soon.

On Tuesday, Ventura’s family held his funeral services in the Dominican Republic. Media outlets followed the team’s front office and teammates on their journey to mourn his life. Journalists that were welcomed on to the bus took images of teammates interactions with one another. These media outlets covered the entire services.

Social media was storming with rumors that Ventura was still alive after the car’s impact and was robbed of his jewelry and left for dead. The rumor was fueled when former MLB player Pedro Martinez, posted to twitter the same story that was still unconfirmed. Martinez acknowledged the fact that he himself was not 100% certain, but would be greatly disappointed in his country if it were true.

On Wednesday, a Dominican longtime spots journalist tweeted out disturbing images of Yordano Ventura dead body. Reporter Bienvenido Rojas shared these images for the world to see that Ventura was not the victim of a robbery. Apparently, Rojas received the images from a forensic scientist. Rojas did not cover Ventura’s bloody face. The image shows how severe the impact of the accident was for Ventura’s face. The other images Rojas posted were of the crime scene.

Did the public need to see Ventura’s lifeless body in order to prove that he was not robbed? Why does the public feel that the mourning process of an athlete should be viewed for the world to see? Why will people justify these images as a, “way of determining what really went on,” rather then respect the families right to privacy?

For those that believe they have a sense of entitlement to know what Ventura’s body looked like when he was recovered, you do not. Just because Ventura was great at a sport does not mean he losses his right to privacy. Police reports are created to censor out these graphic images. For those that also believe that the Royals players should be subject to making public appearances less than 48 hours after the loss of their friend, you are wrong. Teammates should not be forced to make public appearances until they are personally ready. Images of players mourning the loss of another human being should be banned for the public’s entertainment.

There is nothing beneficial in witnessing these images. The public needs to learn to respect the mourning process a family and players need to go through. Yordano Ventura was breaking ground for a new baseball field in the Dominican Republic just two weeks before his death. You can use those images to reflect on how amazing this young man was without invading his privacy. The justification behind forgetting that Ventura was a regular human being is disturbing.

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