By admin | June 30, 2011
By Richard Allen
Since Jeff Gluck of SBNation.com posted a piece on Tuesday( http://www.sbnation.com/nascar/2011/6/28/2247863/kurt-busch-new-relationship-marriage-nascar-media-reporting-news-2011 ) regarding the marital issues of driver Kurt Busch there has been a raging debate on virtually every form of media and social networking site as to the relevance of the personal matters of those involved in NASCAR racing.
The issue has proven quite divisive among those who have joined in the debate. On one side of the issue are those who say that the marital troubles, or bliss, of those involved in the sport are of no concern to anyone other the those directly involved because it has no bearing on the sport itself. On the other side are those who claim that to not mention it when a driver stands in victory lane or anywhere else with a woman known not to be his wife is like not mentioning the ‘elephant in the room’.
My stance on the matter is this. These people gave up a certain amount of privacy when they took on the lifestyle they have not only accepted but spent much of their lives seeking. Once a person involves himself in a profession such as sports, acting or music in which he makes a living from other people investing a substantial portion of their lives to give him a lifestyle most can only dream of he is subject to a certain degree of openness.
Some may say this is an invasion of privacy, an intrusion. But is it not an intrusion to ask you to spend significant amounts of money and time to watch a race car driver do his ‘job’? And more, drivers are dependant on you going out and buying products they push in order for them to maintain a lifestyle of private jets, mansions and million dollar motor coaches.
Sorry NASCAR drivers, actors and musicians, but you owe more than just a stage performance to those who have given you so much.
But do note that in my headline I said their private lives are noteworthy, especially when the subject matter in question is out in the open. Reporting of divorces or marriages or any other off track matter is worth mentioing because people want to know about these things but matters on the track still should come first and foremost.
It would be one thing if Gluck or any other reporter had stalked Busch to some out of the way bar on the outskirts of Charlotte to find him sharing a table with someone other than his wife. But in this case, the ‘other woman’ was at a racetrack in plain sight of thousands in attendance and millions on television. More than a few people noticed.
To say that off the track matters are not worthy of print is ridiculous. That would be like a Dodgers beat writer not mentioning the divorce of the McCourts because it is not happening between the chalk lines. By that standard, the speeding violation of Kyle Busch should never have been reported because it may intrude on his private life. Stories of Michael Annett’s drunk driving charge were useless because he was not on a track when it happened. The rash of baby births among NASCAR families of late should be ignored unless the babies are riding in the race car with their dads.
Of course the legal separation of a famous race car driver is noteworthy, especially when the new ‘Miss Right’ is standing right beside the driver in victory lane. People aren’t stupid. They notice things such as this and want to know the story.
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