The Players Tribune: Where Athletes Can Now Speak Directly to Their Fans!

Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees looking on from the dugout during a game. (Photo courtesy of huffingtonpost.com)

by Mike Reistetter

Derek Jeter ended his illustrious career in storybook fashion. By hitting a game winning walk-off single in his final game ever at Yankee Stadium, he drew attention from the fact that he was uncharacteristically on the verge of tears for the entire game.

Generally regarded as one of the most un-phased athletes of his generation, Jeter was visibly seen holding back emotion. A side of Jeter was exposed that left many wondering: Are athletes more vulnerable then they are given credit for?

Athletes are held to a very high standard. They are expected to perform and to also evade any kind of negative publicity.

A media darling for his entire career, Jeter prided himself on keeping a tight tab on his private life. He attributed this, as well as his upbringing, to why most analysts will point to him as the perennial image of a role model. “He did it the right way,” is a generally accurate assumption about Jeter.

In the age of the Internet, where the business of professional sports is at an all-time high, many athletes have fallen victim to reporters misconstruing their words. Athletes subsequently have been trained to handle the media by either utilizing pleas of silence or providing very broad and generic responses that cannot be manipulated to stir any possible controversy.

Following the conclusion of his career, Jeter launched the innovative website “The Players Tribune,” a site where athletes can talk directly to their fans, unfiltered.

In a statement, Jeter revealed:  “I do think fans deserve more than ‘no comments’ or ‘I don’t knows.’ Those simple answers have always stemmed from a genuine concern that any statement, any opinion or detail, might be distorted. I have a unique perspective. Many of you saw me after that final home game, when the enormity of the moment hit me. I’m not a robot. Neither are the other athletes who at times might seem unapproachable. We all have emotions. We just need to be sure our thoughts will come across the way we intend.”

“The Players Tribune” has garnered much positive feedback and publicity in it’s early stages, with contributions being made through standout essays written by reigning Super Bowl champion and Seattle Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson, as well as popular NASCAR driver Danica Patrick.

Wilson openly discussed a personal tale of how he regrets being a bully as a child. He acknowledged that he now conditions himself to confine his violent tendencies to the playing field and relates the displacement of his emotions from his younger days to many other NFL players who are currently involved in abuse scandals and domestic violence issues.

Danica Patrick, a standout female athlete in a male-dominated sport, talked about her unorthodox relationship with her competitor, fellow NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and the struggles she faced earlier in her career while trying to be taken seriously as a female driver.

Week by week, more contributing senior-editors will be revealed to the page, with the intention that various professional athletes from different walks of life can influence others with unadulterated personal tales. Stay tuned for the expansion of this incredible new resource at www.theplayerstribune.com, where you can learn new and interesting information about the athletes you admire.