Sports journalism shows hometown bias

Those of you who keep up with high school football most likely have heard about the drama between Detroit Denby and Almont. Denby and Almont faced off in semifinals Saturday, Nov. 23. The game was called early due to excessive penalties on Denby’s part, Almont winning 36-8. After the game, Almont fans and band members allegedly provoked Denby players into attacking them.

And that’s what’s everyone has been talking about – how Almont started it.

No one’s talking about how there were cops at the game even before the fights broke out because Denby players had gotten into it with the team they played the previous weekend.

No one’s talking about how Denby players refused to shake hands with Almont players after the game because their coach
“couldn’t guarantee” Almont’s safety. No one’s talking about how Denby went into Walled Lake Central’s school, where the game was held, and damaged lockers and trophy cases. No one’s talking about how many threats Almont has received in the days since the game.

Why? Because the papers covering it in the first place, the papers that anyone cares about, are based in Detroit. They’re hardly going to show a home team in a negative light.

They aren’t going to mention that the person who may or may not have thrown “racial slurs” at Denby players after the game wasn’t associated with Almont.

They aren’t going to mention that Denby players were shoving Almont band members who just happened to be in their way.

They aren’t going to mention that video of Denby players climbing into the stands to attack Almont spectators.

They aren’t going to mention that the game officials commended Almont football players for keeping calm despite repeated illegal hits from the other team.

They aren’t going to mention that Almont had to take unmarked buses to finals and fans were told not to wear anything visibly Almont because Denby threatened to come to Ford Field and attack anyone wearing orange and black.

No, it’s all about what we did. We’re the white country hicks who drive tractors to school and throw racial slurs at visitors and feign innocence. Well, guess what? Almont never claimed to be innocent in all of this.

If Detroit Free Press and the other Detroit-based news stations cared to get to the bottom of it like any good reporter should, they would know that Almont promised to investigate. They would know that Denby isn’t as clean-cut as they’re painted.

You don’t get to play the victim-of-racism card if you’ve actually done something wrong. You don’t get to turn it around on us when we win fair-and-square.

Everything written in the papers has been taken so out-of-context, of course Almont is going to look x.

All because of biased journalism, our town’s reputation has been trashed.

They can’t take back what they said. They can’t even fix it with an apology.

And would they apologize? No. Not only are they biased, spinning the story to benefit their home team, they’re going to keep up the lies told in the original stories.

Thanks to local papers like the Romeo Rambler, we know Detroit Free Press and other papers are well aware of what their stories have done. They know that they’ve wrongly slandered an entire town.

But they can’t apologize, for risk of litigation and because it would be very bad for their business.

What about us? What about the entire town they slandered on state news? What about the football team who, even if they had won the state finals, would forever have it hanging over their heads that their victory came in the middle of this mess?

Not only are they writers of biased journalism, they’re writers of untruthful journalism.

They cannot sink lower than that.

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