When operating a massive blog network with dozens or hundreds of blogs, questionable content occasionally slips through the cracks. In the late hours of Monday night, some of that questionable content slipped through the cracks at SBNation’s Angels blog, Halos Heaven.
In the now-deleted post, Rev Halofan (the site’s editor) said some downright hateful things about Josh Hamilton, repeatedly calling him an “addict” and a “coddled hillbilly”, while also closing his post with “happy snorting”. The post itself has been wiped from Halos Heaven, but this is the Internet, and nothing truly goes away. Here’s a cached version of the post, and what the hell, here’s a screen cap.
Here is that Halos Heaven article on Josh Hamilton that was taken down pic.twitter.com/Dk0GkA07xJ
— Kenny Ducey (@KennyDucey) April 28, 2015
If you read the post, you can see why SBNation’s braintrust acted to remove the post. It was downright hateful and disgusting, and has no place at any reputable outlet, let alone a still-growing, well-known empire like SBNation.
The name-calling in the post was bad enough, but this paragraph was possibly the most troubling. If you’re going to write something this vile and hateful, put your real name on it instead of a pseudonym.
Josh, when you finally die of a drug related matter it won’t be Arte Moreno’s fault. It won’t be the fault of the good fans in Anaheim who figured out your little game. They might have Donnie Moore’s karma on them but they won’t have yours. As much as I would like to say the blame for your future fate lies with the enabling national media and coddling players union, I think of Steve Howe’s face crushed against his truck’s windshield on a lonely interstate highway with crystal meth in his bloodstream and I know that all the blame will be on you, all of it, as it was with Howe. I can only hope that when you do yourself in, which you will, that, mercifully like Howe, you take nobody else with you.
Writing about Josh Hamilton’s death from a drug overdose and not showing one lick of sympathy or remorse – sports blogging in the year 2015, ladies and gentlemen.
I personally don’t feel that simply deleting the post is enough of a response from SBNation. Being associated with disgusting junk like this is bad for everyone at the network. And articles like this will continue to be churned out as long as content creators continue to value pageviews over everything – what’s the big deal about a slap on the wrist if you can get thousands of pageviews on something that was deleted before 10 AM Eastern?
SBNation has a chance to make a statement that terrible content like this won’t be tolerated on their network. If they stop at simply deleting the post and moving on, they run the risk of other bloggers on other sites doing the same thing in the future and damaging the network’s reputation even more. Doing the right thing and giving this site’s braintrust more than a slap on the wrist can only help SBNation in the future.
UPDATED: SBNation released a statement from founder Tyler Bleszinski, firing the blogger in question.
Last night a story was published on one of our team blogs that crossed the line between fanaticism and good taste.
We take pride in the fact that our team blogs are allowed to express themselves and their rabid following of their teams unencumbered by the traditional editorial process. It’s what we’re great at and what makes us unique. But when someone does cross that line of good taste, we need to make sure that our readership realizes that we don’t embrace the culture of pure wild, wild west.
We took the post down and we have mutually agreed to part ways with the blogger in question. We thank him for his years of service to his community and look forward to opening a new chapter at that blog. We in no way endorse the post. We realize that this could happen again in the future and we will always act when that line is crossed.
Way to go, SBNation. Maybe it’s time to shift the focus away from chasing pageviews.