Sports Website Slammed for Sympathetic Article on Rapist OK City Officer
Sports website SB Nation quickly back-peddled Wednesday after an article that was sympathetic towards convicted rapist Daniel Holtzclaw.
Daniel Holtzclaw was convicted in December of multiple counts of rape and sexual assault while on duty as an Oklahoma City police officer. Holtzclaw reportedly targeted women with prior criminal records and demanded sexual favors in exchange for letting them go. Holtzclaw was sentenced last month to over 230 years, to be served consecutively.
The article, “Who is Daniel Holtzclaw?”, was pulled within hours of its posting, criticized for relying on quotes from people biased in Holtzclaw’s favor, like Holtzclaw’s parents and former teammates. The author, Jeff Arnold, also admitted to having covered the entirety of Holtzclaw’s college football career, leading many to question the author’s ability to maintain a neutral perspective. Arnold also suggested that steroid use, football-related brain trauma, or Holtzclaw’s failure to make it in the NFL might help explain the actions he was convicted of.
Writers from other sites, including ESPN, took to Twitter to slam Arnold’s article and his attempts to justify Holtzclaw’s actions. SB Nation editorial director Spencer Hall issued a statement about the pulled article, accepting responsibility for it and slamming the article himself,
The publication of this story represents a complete breakdown of a part of the editorial process at SB Nation. There were objections by senior editorial staff that went unheeded. It was tone-deaf, insensitive to the victims of sexual assault and rape, and wrongheaded in approach and execution. There is no qualification: it was a complete failure.
via Huffington Post