Derek Jeter Wrongly Mentioned In Al Jazeera Doping Speculation
The New York Times’ insinuations about Derek Jeter in its recent article “Following The Names In The Al Jazeera Doping Report” are irresponsible, to say the least, and pure slander at the farthest extreme.
Jeter’s association with trainer Jason Riley is at the heart of the insinuations. The Times says, “His most famous client, the man whose career he was credited with reshaping and saving from mortality’s shadow, was Derek Jeter. In 2010, a few years into Riley’s makeover, The Daily News proclaimed: “Derek is turning back the clock at short.” ESPN declared that Riley had “dumped the Captain into a hot tub time machine” and turned him into a 25-year-old.” [related category]
Jeter is a retired Yankees legend. And unless there is clear evidence of his wrong doing, he should be left out of the conversation altogether. And after dropping in Jeter’s name as pure sensationalism, The Times quickly back tracks. “Significant caveats are in order here: No evidence has emerged linking Jeter to performance-enhancing drugs, and Sly did not connect him to banned substances, although he boasted of helping other athletes obtain them,” The Times says. “And a connection to Sly, Riley or anyone else is hardly proof of any wrongdoing.”
But the damage had already been done. The problem is that some people will read that trash and automatically assume that Jeter was involved. Guilty by association. Then, the next thing you know some will begin to speculate about whether these “ties” should be a reason to keep him out of the Hall of Fame, which of course, is pure nonsense. But this is how smut snowballs.
Of all the great athletes of our time, Derek Jeter is perhaps the one who is least deserving of such off-base speculation. Certainly, The Times can find a better way to make its report without resorting to tabloidism. Jeter’s image does not deserve that. But, as Derek says, according to Brainy Quote, “Your image isn’t your character. Character is what you are as a person.”
And we all know what kind of person that is.