Our managing editor Matt Keller — a huge Patriots fan — wrote a fantastic piece earlier this week examining whether Tom Brady’s decision to take a minuscule salary (compared to other star NFL quarterbacks) correlated with New England owner Bob Kraft gifting him resources to start TB12, Brady’s nutrition company.
There are a lot of interesting facts that people in Boston don’t like to discuss that involve Kraft and Brady’s business interests, but the two biggest are: 1) TB12 is headquartered on Patriots property (is it fair to assume that Bobby gave Tommy a pretty generous lease deal, or is that too “fake newsy”?) and 2) TB12 gets to use the Patriots’ legal counsel, a huge cost for any startup.
The current arrangement between owner and player would clearly violate the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (that’s a fact), but doesn’t violate the NFL CBA (another fact). Keller suggests that Kraft and Brady might have a handshake deal that calls for the Patriots owner to provide additional resources to TB12 after Tommy’s retirement, but doesn’t claim to have any inside knowledge about their agreement.
Long story short, Keller wrote a really well-researched, interesting, thought-provoking piece, and the reaction on social media was: FAKE NEWS!
Are you fucking kidding me?
Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like the internet troll has adopted a new rallying cry.
We’re not a news outlet, we’re a comedy sports site that occasionally delves into bigger issues when we find them interesting and underreported, but seeing the reaction to Keller’s article was eye-opening. The new inclination to label every piece of reporting you don’t wholeheartedly agree with as pure fabrication makes it clear that nobody desires to learn anything from the other side.
“My news outlet’s real news, yours is fake, end of story.”
Few things matter less in life than Tom Brady’s business interests, but it’s frightening that people can’t read an interesting sports article without assigning to it America’s favorite new label.
Several of our more intelligent Boston readers gave some valid criticisms of Keller’s premise: Gisele makes so much money that Tom really doesn’t give a damn, all Brady cares about is winning, when you’re that handsome money doesn’t matter, and so on, but ultimately agreed he had some valid points. Because he does.
I guess I’m just trying to say that this new trend of yelling “fake news” at everything isn’t only idiotic, it’s minimizing and marginalizing the actual issue. People ripping apart thoughtful journalism (albeit advocacy or opinion) just because they disagree with the article’s conclusion means that even sports — the most fun thing in the world to debate because — WHO CARES?! IT’S JUST SPORTS!! — has become another issue too polarizing to debate rationally.
It’s sad, but if TheLead is any indication, it seems like fake news has already won. Stay tuned for our next article on how the Falcons actually won the Super Bowl because the NFL found out that Bill Belichick built Matt Ryan in a lab Westworld-style and programmed him to blow the game in the fourth quarter…