Trampling on Those Grieving


As a follow-up to my posting on Wednesday (Lost and Alone at Sea) about the NFL players lost in the Atlantic Ocean after a fishing trip, the headline used by some media outlets concerning those who perished really bothered me.

--Fox News reports: Florida Boat Accident Survivor: 2 NFL Players Gave Up Hope

--The New York Daily News describes it as: NFL players lost at sea, Marquis Cooper and Corey Smith, gave up, says rescued friend Nick Schuyler

In my opinion, printing this message being used as the headline is irresponsible and represents sensationalistic journalism at its worst. The idea that anyone “quit” is based on the supposed statements of the only survivor—-a man who was in serious condition until recently and who is probably still having difficulty remembering his middle name.

I read that during the ordeal, the guys started seeing helicopter lights and thought they were being rescued. Exactly what happened out there in the water will remain shrouded in mystery as the survivor’s recollections are seemingly a mix of imagination and reality.

I remember that the one of the players involved (Cooper) is married with a three year old son. The other two deceased men, married or not, had loved ones and family members deeply saddened by the tragedy. What exactly are those loved ones supposed to think when they read a news headline that says that dad/uncle/son/best friend gave up on life?

A few years from now, when the victim’s son reads the accounts of his father’s death, how will that make him feel living with the idea that (the one the newspaper puts forward) maybe dad did not care enough about his family to keep fighting for just a few more hours until help arrived?

I hope this is the last headline I see that highlights conjecture for the purpose of selling a story, but I really doubt that I’ll be able to make it one week without seeing something as abysmal.

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