Josh Hamilton doesn’t owe me, or you, or any fan an explanation for his substance-abuse relapse. What happened last week is between Hamilton and those to whom he is close.
He nonetheless held a press conference because the modern sports media climate dictates he must.
“It was just wrong,” he said, somehow putting a disease such as substance abuse on the same sin scale as crime or an infraction against the game, such as cheating.
Sports media, agents and publicists have tricked athletes into thinking they owe the public anything more than on-field effort and basic human dignity. Play your hardest, be respectful of fans who are respectful of you — that’s it.
Hamilton’s press conference wreaked of false necessity. Not because of Hamilton’s demeanor, which was spot on, but because it had to exist in the first place. There was never a doubt, when the relapse was first reported, that Hamilton would have to sit in front of a room of reporters explaining himself about something which doesn’t need explaining. An addict relapsed. It’s part of being an addict.
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