Blackistone: Envy, Ego Fueling Mariotti Criticism?

The first new airing of ESPN’s Around The Horn went off today without regular panelist Jay Mariotti - who has effectively been suspended from the show. During today’s production, host Tony Reali quizzed panelists about media reaction to Mariotti’s recent arrest for felony domestic assault.

Kevin Blackistone's reaction to media reaction to Mariotti felony arrest

No surprises in the reax from panelists Bob Ryan and Woody Paige. Both were as candid as could be expected under the circumstances. Kevin Blackistone though did raise an interesting point about the motivation of Mariotti’s critics:

“I’m not really surprised Tony, Jay has always been a polarizing figure. There’s a lot of ego and envy in this business of sports commentating. I think a lot of people are uncomfortable that he’s risen as he has by being such a provocateur and always telling other people what to do and how they should run their lives and how they should be treated thereafter.

“I really wasn’t surprised by the avalanche of criticism that came from the media or even from athletes or people that read or watch his work.”

Blackistone made clear that much of the motivation of Mariotti’s critics stemmed from his constant, hyperbolic moral judgement of his subjects. But what does envy have to do with such critiques?

The media members I know and follow who have criticized Mariotti are doing so because of Mariotti’s colossal (alleged) hypocrisy, not because they’re envious of Mariotti’s career trajectory.

Even before he was arrested for reportedly inflicting “cuts and bruises” on his girlfriend, no media member I knew ever wanted to be Jay Mariotti.  They wanted to be anything but Mariotti. Who wants to be a pariah? Who wants to have to hide from the public?

Backup embed of Mariotti ATH topic: