Late yesterday morning, rumors regarding a controversially-spirited interview with Luke Scott and the fine folks at Yahoo Sports, began circulating around sports media circles. By late afternoon, it was a full blown news story and covered by every major network, on-air and via respective websites.
With the building energy behind the supposed sordid content of the interview, I ensured my knowledge by thoroughly reviewing it; knowing the topic would surface during my late afternoon program …..
After absorbing the questions asked, and responses provided, by Luke Scott, my reaction was far less dramatic than most opinions conveyed thru radio, web news sources and social media circles.
This is my take on the interview …..
With Major League Baseball’s winter meetings taking place near his Florida home, Scott made arrangements to meet with his agent (who was working at the meetings) and discuss personal business matters. At the same time, it would give him an opportunity to visit with his bosses, Andy MacPhail and Buck Showalter.
At the hosting hotel, Scott agreed to an interview with Yahoo Sports’ David Brown for his featured “Big League Stew” segment. During the interview, Brown asked the Orioles’ slugger his view on an array of topics, including hobbies, baseball, gun control, Ted Nugent and politics/President Obama.
I can’t answer for David Brown (although, I’d love to have him as a guest), but in reading the transcript of the interview, as well as listening to the audio portion, I did not develop a notion that Scott was seeking a platform for promoting his views or causes – he was simply answering questions.
By the way, lets extinguish the pipedream that several folks are assuming; Luke Scott was not dressed in camouflage or toting his favorite handgun. Have a look for yourself …..
My purpose in writing this piece is not tied to my impression of the topics covered in the interview. Regardless of my feelings on hunting, guns or President Obama, I don’t think readers are really interested in such dialogue.
My real purpose is in defending the right to speak one’s mind and convey an opinion on virtually anything. I’m also intent on describing the differences between answering someone’s questions and using one’s celebrity to spur sensationalism. Indeed, there is a distinguishable difference.
Let’s be clear about one thing …. when Luke did the interview, he was representing LUKE SCOTT. To that end, he was not representing the Baltimore Orioles or any political/citizen action groups. And, this is vital to the overall impression of his comments.
Much like most people, I can’t stomach seeing rockstars and actors being pimped by politicians in the heat of campaign races. I couldn’t care less about their views …..
Whether it’s the liberal intentions of Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and Barbra Streisand, or the conservative natures of Bruce Willis, Gene Simmons and Adam Sandler …. I DO NOT CARE ABOUT THEIR POLITICAL OPINIONS.
That said, there is a distinct separation between being pitched as a virtual prostitute by a politician, while performing a few songs on a red, white and blue stage during a campaign rally, AND …. consenting to an interview on one’s personal time and for no particular cause.
Is there a fine line where I would’ve discounted Luke’s expression of such controversial views? Absolutely – if he was wearing an Orioles uniform or representing the organization in any official capacity.
But, this is not one of those situations.
The man is entitled to views. He’s entitled to exercise his FIRST AMENDMENT rights as a citizen of the United States. His intent was not to sway the opinions of those who heard or read the interview’s contents.
When we diminish the opportunities for anyone to speak their minds about anything, our basis of freedom is compromised. And, that’s the point of this blog …..
I don’t care one bit about Luke Scott’s views on anything – I’m way too busy trying to live my life. But, I respect his views and his right to express them.
Finally, I would suggest that you consider listening to the audio portion of the interview. I’m not providing the link, because I don’t want to lead anyone. However, if you listen to it, I think you might receive Luke as a genuinely sincere and intelligent man.
It’s up to you …..