NPR Does Sports? Tom Goldman On The Social Issues Beyond The Scoreboard | KERA News

NPR Does Sports? Tom Goldman On The Social Issues Beyond The Scoreboard

Nov 21, 2014

If anyone still thinks the sports world is just about the scoreboard, they haven't been watching too closely.

Correspondent Tom Goldman chronicles the sports world for NPR.

For this week's Friday Conversation, he sits down with KERA's Vice President of news Rick Holter to talk about how some of the biggest news issues of our time play out on and off the field.

Interview Highlights: Tom Goldman...

..on why at this moment, so many issues in the sports world have come to light: “Well, in some of these cases you’ve got bad behavior by athletes triggering this stuff. Ray Rice punching his fiancée, Adrian Peterson as he put it, “whooping” his child. Some call it corporeal punishment, some call it child abuse.  You go back, 2011, Kobe Bryant uttered an anti-gay slur that was caught by cameras and microphones. The events are coming together with the intense scrutiny we have on sports today because sports and entertainment are so wed together. But we can’t get away from it now and it’s very so issues driven which for me as an NPR reporter,  it’s a goldmine because the network is so issues drive, so it’s kind of come to me in that way.

..on how his job has changed since he first started: “Back in those days the response I would get when I said I do sports for NPR, people would go  ‘NPR does sports?’ And now it’s like my answer is ‘yes, all the time and I would appreciate some help too because it is so busy and fascinating.’ There’s this benefit to staying in it because I have seen these things evolve and I’ve seen how these issues are coming to the forefront and how we’re discussing them as a nation.”

…on what has changed since recent NFL domestic violence scandals were reported: “No one argues that the NFL has done a horrible job and they may be sitting on a past that is really dark as far as ignoring this issue with a lot of women. But you see the NFL taking steps to correct the situation; the NFL helping organizations that really do need help. Hotlines which often are called the first line of defense in the battle against domestic violence where people call in or text, the NFL is putting money into that, they’ve already put money in. Organizations are hiring because of that, hiring more people to field more calls and texts and that’s helping, so that’s a very positive thing.”