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NEWSDAY'S OP-ED WRITER CRITICIZES SI'S PATERNITY COVER STORY
Published May 15, 1998
Sports Illustrated's recent cover story on pro athletes fathering out-of-wedlock children was the subject of an op- ed by NY-based writer Barbara Walder in NEWSDAY. Walder wrote that the "behavior of the SI editors who published the article, and editorial writers at The New York Times and elsewhere who praised it ... should be in question, not the private behavior of the athletes." Walder called the story "shoddy, exploitative and in some ways, ridiculous" and "written in a combination National Enquirer, Ladies' Home Journal and Harvard Lampoon style." She called the story a "cheap, easy way to make news and to seem important." Walder: "But all that phony high-mindedness is just an excuse to take the low road, examining the sex and personal lives of some professional athletes in a way those editors -- if it was done to them -- would surely see as unfair, racially insensitive and dishonest. ... Is this any of our business?" Walder concluded by noting that "almost all" of the athletes "financially support their out-of-wedlock children." Walder: "It's easy to take shots at pro athletes. But it's sports journalism like this SI story that should be in everyone's sights" (NEWSDAY, 5/14).