MLB Spring Training began across the league recently which, for most teams, includes media training in addition to physical training. Teams in a professional league such as MLB want their players to know the appropriate way to conduct themselves in interviews and in front of the media. The way a player behaves off the field can have a huge impact on fans and sponsors, so it’s necessary for teams to take precautions regarding player behaviors and attitudes regarding the media.
This issue was brought into more prominence when Cam Newton’s behavior at a post-Super Bowl press conference drew criticism from many sources. People felt he reacted too negatively after the Carolina Panthers’ loss by answering questions too briefly and leaving in the middle of the presser.
At this year’s media training the New York Yankees, who take media training very seriously, showed clips from Cam Newton’s press conference and Russell Wilson’s 2015 post-Super Bowl press conference.
During the Yankees' media training, the Super Bowl is being used to portray the right and wrong way to act. Part… https://t.co/m8vJ5h6Sux
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) February 20, 2016
As one can remember, Wilson handled the conference completely differently than Newton, answering every question and taking responsibility for the team’s loss. The Yankees media trainers encouraged players to be more like Wilson and not like Newton when dealing with the press, and rightfully so.
Depending on how the season plays out, it’s going to be interesting to see how effective this method of training turns out to be.