Jun 13, 2023; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) looks on during minicamp at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Many professional athletes view the media as an adversary, constantly critiquing their every move. But when they experience the complexities of sports media, their initial animosity can often transform into newfound respect.

Bridging this gap is a growing number of media workshops and boot camps designed for athletes considering a career shift. Firsthand experience has led to a change in perspective, particularly for those who have had prickly encounters with the media over the years.

That’s not to say that New Orleans Saints defensive back Tyrann Mathieu has had his run-ins with the media — that would be a stretch. But when his repeated misdeeds in college were frequently attached to his name in headlines, you could see why someone may have a certain outlook on what sports media is all about.

But Mathieu has never shied away from the spotlight. He’s held himself to high standards and been honest and open about his past, which led to his dismissal from LSU. But now 31 years old, the three-time first-team All-Pro is looking at a life beyond his playing days.

He’s been a star in the league since he was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. But his position is physically demanding the body, so it’s anyone’s guess how much longer he can play at this elite level.

What’s not up for debate, though, is Mathieu’s newfound respect for sports media, which he expressed on his official X account after participating in a workshop.

Perhaps Mathieu’s experience will inspire a domino effect, with more athletes stepping into media workshops and fostering a wave of mutual respect. After all, a stronger bond between athletes and the media can only enrich the sports world for fans and professionals alike.

[Tyrann Mathieu on X]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.