I don't like using this blog for "best-of/worst-of" lists in journalism. But something I read this morning is the worst thing I've read in the sports pages in ... maybe ever.
It's from Mike Lupica's column about Aaron Hernandez in today's New York Daily News.
The first paragraph:
Aaron Hernandez will get the same chance everybody else in this country charged with a crime gets: To prove he’s innocent of the charges against him. In Hernandez’s case, it means he gets to prove that he is not a premeditated killer, a punk with a gun who also happens to be a star tight end from the NFL.
Take a second to re-read that.
The lead sports columnist at the New York Daily News - one of the highest-profile, best-known, most-widely read sports columnists in the country, one of the members of The Sports Reporters - writes that a defendant in a criminal case in the United States has to prove himself innocent.
Except, you know, that's not how the courts work. In fact, it's the opposite of how the courts work. (Aaron Hernandez doesn't have to prove anything. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.)
The fact that this is so highly placed in such a high-profile column by such a high-profile columnist makes this the worst thing I've seen in sports journalism this year.
(H/T to Mike Sielski for first pointing this out on Facebook today.)