Thursday, September 25, 2014


Recently Ken Davidoff of the New York Post wrote a piece presenting his argument that Derek Jeter is a hypocrite.  In the article, Davidoff – a columnist we here at BYB respect a great deal – argued that the Yankee captain has been participating in “spectacle-like actions” all the while presenting himself as a humble, attention-shy, team-first face of baseball.

Davidoff gives as examples the “over the top” Gatorade commercial, as well as an appearance at a Manhattan theater where patrons paid as much as four-figures to pose for a photograph with the future Hall of Famer.  In Davidoff’s words, Jeter “pointed out the absurdity of the memorabilia industry while both elevating it and profiting from it, too. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his inept, arrogant team of public-relation gurus should study Jeter to learn the art of verbal pirouetting.”

I couldn’t help but think that Ken’s article lacked both sides of the story, and took to twitter to question his piece.  What bothered me most what his labelling of Jeter a “hypocrite”.  That’s a pretty harsh word to use based on one man’s perception.   I asked “....and how much of what Jeter makes off these media spotlight deals goes to his "Turn 2" foundation?”, and continued my argument that unless you know what Jeter is doing with the money he makes, you can’t call him a hypocrite.

Ken’s response to my statements caught me off-guard.  He told me that the point was moot because the end didn’t justify the means.

How can the end – turning a kid’s life around – not be justified by using your fame to maximize the funding of a cause you believe in?

Clearly Davidoff’s article was written to generate readership and discussion.  What better way to maximize that than to write something disparaging about a beloved Yankee?  I fell into his trap.  Only isn’t he doing EXACTLY what he’s accusing Jeter of?  Write something with a sensational headline going against the mainstream in New York City and you’ll get a boost in site hits. 

Mission accomplished Ken.

When asked about how his day was going by our esteemed founder, Robert Casey, Ken replied:

Look, clearly some people are tired of seeing the Jeter tributes and media tsunami heading into his final at-bat and that can give explanation to the rather high negative number of Ken’s estimate.   Sure many could perceive the blitz as being “over-the-top” but calling him a hypocrite on a nationally read site is just plain wrong.

Webster’s dictionary defines “hypocrite” as:

     A person who claims or pretends to have certain beliefs about what is right but who behaves in a way that disagrees with those beliefs

What about Jeter has been pretended?  What has he claimed that his actions have countered?

While I will always respect Ken Davidoff, and will continue to read his column as there are few better, in this particular instance I disagree with him.  If what Derek Jeter is doing “uses” his fame to garner funds for his foundation (The Turn 2 Foundation), then you cannot call him a hypocrite.   He’s harnessing his fame to better a child’s life, and there simply is nothing nobler than that.  On top of those things the media reports and glorifies, Jeter has been known to do even more off the camera and behind the scenes.  To ignore those things and ignore the way Jeter conducts himself when the lens isn’t pointed his way all in the name of making a point (that the Yankee captain is a hypocrite) either represents laziness, or slander for the sake of getting a good “hit count”.

I’ll give Davidoff the benefit of the doubt because it is clear to me that he is a quality writer.  In this instance, I’ll chalk it up to a misguided effort to create enthusiasm outside of the mainstream.  In other words, I’ll respectfully disagree and say “You got this one wrong, Ken”.


--Steve Skinner, BYB Senior Writer
Twitter: @oswegos1

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