More and more sports leagues and individual teams now have their own media operations. More often than not, the employees of those league and teams charged with asking questions that could be somewhat uncomfortable given their employment by the entity they cover still ask the uncomfortable questions.
Sometimes, they don’t.
The first interview of Jets receiver Percy Harvin comes from the Jets’ in-house media operation. (Exclusive!) And the interview contains not a single question that sheds even a flicker on the circumstances that resulted in the jarring in-season trade of Harvin from the Seahawks to the Jets.
Percy, what happened?
Percy, how shocked were you by Seattle’s decision to trade you?
Percy, did you ask to be traded?
Percy, did you ask to not be traded?
Percy, there are several reports of arguments and fights with teammates. What do you have to say in response to that?
Percy, did you body slam Golden Tate the night before the Super Bowl?
Percy, who do you think wanted you out?
Percy, aren’t you worth more than a sixth-round draft pick that could become a fourth-round draft pick?
Percy, you’ve had issues everywhere you’ve been from college through two NFL teams — why should Jets fans believe it’ll be any different now?
While the last question could have been pretty aggressive for an in-house media outlet, it’s the biggest question any Jets fan should have. But none of the questions listed above were asked.
Plenty of obvious — but completely non-controversial questions — were asked. For example, “Percy, why do you say this is a great fit for you now?”
“I just think they got a lot of the pieces here,” Harvin said. “You’ve got Geno [Smith] with a great veteran behind him. You got [Eric] Decker. You got two great running backs. They’ve always had a great defense here. So that’s all exciting stuff to me. But all I remember is them being a very tough team. I know they have a few losses in their hands, but they was in every single game with a couple of plays here and there that could have easily switched the game. So I definitely think this team has all the pieces. So like I said, that’s what excited me, knowing they already had the pieces here and I could just fit right in, try to make my little plays, and hopefully I can be a little difference.”
Harvin also was asked about his expected role.
“I’m not sure yet,” Harvin said. “I’m sure it’ll be receiving stuff. Maybe running back, maybe not. Definitely I hope I’ll be out there on special teams.”
In fairness to the Jets, Harvin eventually will be exposed fully and completely to the New York media, which will ask all the questions listed above and more. Still, the first impression of Harvin as a Jet comes from an interview conducted by the Jets, who have a clear and obvious motivation to accentuate the positive and to pretend the wide array of negatives don’t exist.