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Sports and religion

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Illino, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. Illino

    Illino Member

    This is not a thread for debate, except on the topic at hand.

    Given that religion/God is such a touchy issue, is it OK to pair sports moments or players with religious insights for publication on a broad spectrum, such as a blog? Or is it better to contact the person first because of the potential sensitivity of the content? For example, using the story of someone who won their only championship the year they retired and comparing that to scriptures on perseverance/patience to form an inspirational/devotional style article.
     
  2. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    I'd show both sides. For example, add in Ernie Banks or Clay Matthews or John Stockton, players who persevered but weren't rewarded by God.
     
  3. JohnHammond

    JohnHammond Well-Known Member

    To be honest, such a blog would appear trite. I also don't think some athlete winning the title in his last year is up there with the suffering of Job.
     
  4. Illino

    Illino Member

    Strictly an example. More wanting opinions on associated a player with this type of content without knowing their beliefs.
     
  5. JohnHammond

    JohnHammond Well-Known Member

    Even more trite if you don't know their beliefs. Pretty much every newspaper in a pro market already has published such stories.
     
  6. BurnsWhenIPee

    BurnsWhenIPee Well-Known Member

    Don't do it. What if said player is an atheist, or some religion that doesn't include the scripture you're referencing?

    It's a stretch that isn't worth making.
     
  7. Illino

    Illino Member

    Thank you...that is more the type of opinion I am seeking.
     
  8. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    What Burns said.

    If you're so inclined to mix sports and religion, why not contact the team to see if the player is willing to be interviewed on the subject?
     
  9. Illino

    Illino Member

    That's what I am hoping to do, just feel like that may lead to a lot of dead ends, so I also have a backup blog type project in mind with simplier stories.
     
  10. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Also agree with what Burns said. If the player has been outspoken about his faith, like a Kurt Warner or Tim Tebow, that's one thing. You can find enough material to back up your point. If you get lucky you might even be able to score a direct interview with them. Otherwise, it's way too personal and touchy a subject to go there. Some players might even be insulted by the connection. Not saying he isn't religious, but I've never heard Kobe Bryant, for example, thank God in a postgame interview. He's more likely to attribute his success to the thousands of hours he's put in at the gym over the last 30 years.

    You also need to consider your audience. Are you writing for a Christian-themed web site or publication? Or a more general audience? If the latter, you definitely need more material straight from the players (postgame quotes or your own interviews) that backs up your point. Making the connection without it will likely garner as much negative reaction as positive, and your point will be lost.
     
  11. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    If it's a general-topic sports blog, I would not go there with religion unless the athlete brought it up to you personally.

    If it's a Christian/religious themed blog, I would be OK saying someone is Christian or Jewish or whatever if the athlete has been very public about it.

    Otherwise, I could see comparing an athlete to a Biblical character or example as long as you don't assign a religion to them (I would only do this in rare cases or for a religious-themed publication).
     
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