I’ll be honest, when I first came across the ESPN piece, I had to double check to make sure it wasn’t a troll account.
When I came to the realization that it wasn’t, I was stunned. How the hell could an editor at the Mothership (ESPN) green light a story and headline like this?
Underneath the original tweet of the story (which has now been deleted), someone underneath commented “Oh God, I sure hope the Volleyball team is okay.”
Simple yet so effective.
What happened Monday was something I never ever could have imagined would happen here at Ohio State. In fact although I was on south campus in Hale hall, the whole experience of being in a room with my peers with the door barricaded was terrifying.
To think that the first reaction is to write a story not even a day after the event had transipired and to title it “Ohio State Football players safe, accounted for after on-campus attack” was so incredibly tone deaf.
I get it. Austin Ward is a Big Ten writer for ESPN. He was attempting just to do his job. But to come out and release a story like this was so distasteful and insensitive beyond comprehension.
The most baffling thing beyond the existence and title of the story, was how disorganized it was.
It leads with violent details about the attack, then bizarrely segues into how all Ohio State football players are safe before giving details about the the “second-ranked Buckeyes” and their practice ordeals.
As if it couldn’t get worse, the story closes out with a description of the attacker as well as newsworthy details about the attack which you would have presumed to be apart of the lede.
An absolute disaster.
I fully expect ESPN take the necessary action to either edit the story and headline, or just archive the story in it’s entirety. Although any efforts from now on maybe too little too late.
The damage is already done.
As cynical and blunt as it may sound, this story truly serves as a great example of how not to write a story.
Something I will never forget.