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SBD/March 2, 2011/Media
SI Parts Ways With Motorsports Reporter Tom Bowles For Cheering Bayne's Victory
Published March 2, 2011
NO EXCUSES: In Orlando, George Diaz wrote Bowles, and "anybody else who cheered, was out of line," as cheering for Bayne's victory has an "unprofessional feel to it." National Motorsports Press Association President Rea White "sent a note to all the association members urging them to keep the static noise down to a minimum" (ORLANDOSENTINEL.com, 3/1). In Milwaukee, Dave Kallmann wrote cheering in the press box is "unprofessional and, at the very least, disrespectful to those who are trying to work." Kallmann: "Sports departments have fought for eons to be considered on the same journalistic level as 'real' reporters. This wouldn’t help. Can you imagine Helen Thomas applauding a speech by the president?" (JSONLINE.com, 3/1). ESPN.com's J.A. Adande said, “You need to take a stand now more than ever because you have an increasing amount of bloggers and fanboys allowed in the press box." But Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan said, “I’ve been to too many Olympics where I know all about cheering in a press box. All it would take is, ‘Hey, Tom, we don’t do that here.’ That’s it” ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 3/1). NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen asked, "Has Sports Illustrated lost its mind? It fired a NASCAR correspondent for five seconds of clapping after a great race" (TWITTER.com, 3/2).
MORE TO THE STORY? SI VP/Communications Scott Novak confirmed Bowles "no longer be working for SI.com," though the added the company "cannot comment on the nature of offense or offenses that contributed to that decision." A high-ranking source at SI indicated that Bowles is no longer working for SI.com because of a series of issues that included cheering in the press box at the Daytona 500 (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal). ESPN.com's Bomani Jones said, "When somebody gets fired for something like this, he might have gotten fired and they might have put that down on the page, but we don’t know everything that’s going on here. Not even close” ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 3/1).