Benched: What I Learned From Being Benched By Bleacher Report

Lars HansonAnalyst IAugust 5, 2009

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - JUNE 09:  Kevin Pietersen of England produces a red card during a game of football at Gresham Sports Park on June 9, 2009 in Nottingham, England.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

A week and one day later I have decided to pull a "Grant Wahl" and finally write a "tell all" article about my being benched by Bleacher Report.

I am writing this article for two reasons:  To share what I learned from being benched and how it affected me and as a lesson to other Bleacher Report creatures to show that people see what you say.

This article will be broken down into two parts.

Part one will share my reason(s) for being benched (Bleacher Reports version of a timeout/ban) and how it affected me.

Part two will share my incites and why everyone needs to take notice of what they say because everyone is watching.

Part One

On July 23, I logged into Bleacher, went to click the :write: icon to post my Seattle Mariners breaking news article.

I received a small 2x2 message that said, "You have been benched by bleacher report for your inappropriate behavior. To address this matter please contact"

It caught me a little off guard, but I proceeded to check my email and then I received a new inbox message from Dave Morrison stating that past altercations with another Bleacher Report writer had gone too far and that both me and the other writer had been banned for seven days.

By that time I had gotten a full page picture of the situation. The previous night before I was benched me and another writer got into an altercation.

As they say on ESPN, words were exchanged and the next thing you know it got out of hand.

Now this had all unfolded on an article that one Bleacher Report writer who was involved in the altercation had a problem with. Since then the article has been deleted and the writer had been banned but has now returned.

So I waited out my seven days which seemed like forever because the one thing that I love doing is writing, not just on Bleacher Report but sports writing in general.

Well as it turns out, during this seven day period I received a job offer to be writer for a sports website called Grid Iron

I jumped at the opportunity because it gave me time to reflect off of Bleacher Report, and when I got this job offer five days out of the seven had already passed by.

So I had taken plenty of time to reflect and learn from the benching.

Now I do pride myself on professionalism and when the seven day ban had ended I personally spoke with all of the other writers that had seen the incident unfold. I personal apologized to Leroy Watson and Heart Beat Of the Bronx Stephen Meyer who have been great supporters of me since returning to Bleacher Report.

Both Meyer and Watson accepted the apology but also wanted me to prove that it was behind me and I have done exactly that.

This article is just meant to reach out to everyone on Bleacher Report and share my experience.

My reason for why I received the ban were for excessive profanity usage on a few comment.

Which I take full responsibility for and realize that there were many other options that had been a better route to take.

Now a message from part one to the rest of Bleacher Report is that some people get very involved in debates on this site and sometimes things either get out of hand and or out of context and off subject.

I have been apart and also seen these events unfold and there is no need for it on this site. There is need for great sports minds, opinions and debates that stay within the boundaries of Bleacher Report guidelines.

Debates are what make sports great. Now there are good debates and ones that start good and end bad. Bleacher Report needs just the good debates.

Part two

Part two ties into the end of part one. Everyone can watch what you are writing especially if you are a syndicated writer because your work goes out to top sites and then it links back to Bleacher Report.

Bleacher Report is just like Facebook and other networking sites. Anyone can sign up and see what you say and or write.

I mean for example I wrote an article about me leaving Bleacher Report for reasons that will stay in-house.

It was tagged as an NFL/Seattle Seahawks article because it happened in the Seahawks section.

There had been plenty of comments on it. The article got 500+ reason and not only did it get seen on B/R but it got syndicated out.

It even reached an AOL forum and I had to control everyone on the forum and then Bleacher Report deleted the article.

So it shows if you write an article about someone, or write a comment about someone or leave a comment and you don't think that not to many people will see it.

All anyone has to do is take one sentence from that comment, go to Google and paste it.

It will go right back to you and that does not help your reputation.

Some people say that professionalism on this site doesn’t matter. Well those are the people who will be hit the hardest because if you post it out on the internet for everyone to see.

You'd better hope that it’s professional because if you seriously want to get a journalism job and then your boss says it’s down to you and someone else.

Your boss finds out that you had said and been acting unprofessional on a mainstream website for everyone to see and the other applicant has a clean sheet that other applicant will get the job.

It doesn’t matter if you write on a blog you created, or a website like B/R or Fan Huddle or any site, no one will take you seriously if you don’t take the site seriously.

That's one thing I learned.


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