THE KID'S GLOVES COME OFF: GRIFFEY DEFENDS NIKE/CHIDES ESPN
Published August 19, 1998
KEN GRIFFEY JR. writes a first-person cover story with Claire Smith in ESPN MAGAZINE where he talks of his relationship with Nike and today's media. Griffey: "Nike doesn't force you to do anything you're not comfortable with. Yes, I've gotten questions the last couple years about Nike: 'How come the factory workers are only making this much?' I really got grilled by one reporter. I said, If you give me a couple of days to find out about it, I'll answer all your questions. And I got a printout a few days later, and showed him that factory workers are comparable to firemen, teachers, policemen and more in those societies. That's what people don't get to see. The just see numbers - - they're getting this, and we're getting this -- instead of dealing with what their societies make and what our society makes." On the media: "There are a lot of things the media don't always understand. I agree with ESPN on a lot of things, but certain things? People have to be accountable for what they say and do. Athletes, media, everybody. So if you say something negative about somebody, at least give them an opportunity to answer. I don't want to get wisecracks. I want sports. That's it. But with ESPN, it's like a competition in the studio to see who can say the funniest line. When somebody makes an error, guys in our position don't think it's funny. Then you have the field guys at the ballpark wondering why this player or that player won't talk. Send the guy who said the funny line to get the interview" (ESPN MAGAZINE, 8/24 issue).