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Quiet: There are kids watching, literally

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="407"][/caption] Whether we like it or not, we’re driven by the media. We’re dictated by it. We’re consumed by it. We wear what the media says is cool to wear. We take after our favorite figures in pop culture. These notions aren’t necessarily bad things due to the fact that we certainly aren’t alone. How the media portrays its topics of coverage has become a way of life, the fuel that drives the megalomaniac machine. And how we react to what we see and hear has become as easy as tying our shoes. Imagine how much we as adults are compelled…now take into consideration the mind of an easily influenced child. During Monday night’s broadcast of Monday Night Football between the Arizona Cardinals and Baltimore Ravens, ESPN, the network bringing the game into of millions of family living rooms, broke a pretty clear rule in the broadcast game—WATCH WHAT YOU SAY WHEN YOU’RE ON AIR. During the first quarter of the game, after Cardinals running back Chris Johnson tacked on another first down for his team, the worldwide leader in sports cut to its sideline reporter for a quick inside report on Johnson. G u e s s what everyone…Chris Johnson is playing with a bullet in his shoulder. Yep, that’s right. Last March, Johnson was a victim of a drive-by shooting that left him with a bullet lodged in his shoulder. Johnson made light of the situation by posting a graphic photo of his wound on Instagram, because I guess if you didn’t ‘gram’ it then it didn’t happen. That is far from my issue; back to picking on ESPN. ESPN what are we doing here? Lisa Salters, who has been a very respectable sideline reporter for both the NBA and NFL for years, came on screen and gave everyone the inside scoop on the bullet still lodged in Johnson’s shoulder. Smart. ESPN’s Monday Night Football verified Twitter account even tweeted this right after the report: “Chris Johnson still has a bullet in his shoulder from a drive-by shooting earlier this year. He’s in the top 5 in the NFL in rushing. #Tough” #Tough. The fact that they’re devoting time at any point of their broadcast is asinine. For the past ten years, ESPN’s popular weekly broadcast of what is often considered the NFL’s game of the week has been cable’s mostwatched program, according to TV By the Numbers. The game is shown in over 11-million households and viewed by roughly 16-million viewers. I’d imagine a big chunk of that latter number is kids, no? I don’t think I need to tell you here that gun violence has been a major issue in this country throughout the past decade, especially involving our youth. And for the countless kids who are growing up playing football, this is hardly the message the NFL and ESPN should be promoting. I don’t even need to get into role models, a title more than a few players in the NFL possess in the eyes of young kids. But this all ties back into what we take from what we see and hear. Not the best of moves, ESPN. Talk about the game and not the dark clouds like such that are crippling our country. While America was watching football Monday night, it was the renowned television network that dropped the ball. And whether we like it or not, I can bet more than a few kids heard what ESPN was telling them and took it the wrong way. David Heim is a senior journalism major from Roselle Park, N.J. He can be reached at david.heim@ or on Twitter at @ davidheim12.


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