Athlete’s stupidity still no reason for sleazy websites to try and ‘ruin’ a person’s image

Spurs' point guard George Hill's image is under attack because of a stupid photo he took of himself.

By Gregory Moore

I’ve never been a big fan of gossip magazines, shows or even websites like TMZ.com.

To me, that’s not a news organization trying to cover the news; that’s the entertainment industry trying to make sure they are still talked about at the dinner table.

But at least a few of these celeb news portals try to actually be news oriented and try to abide by some sort of standard.

Web sites like www.thedirty.com, aren’t celebrity news portals; they are pirahhah sleaze bags trying to make a quick buck and if embarrassing someone or damaging someone’s reputation is a plausible path, they’ll go that route.

For celebrities and athletes, the fighting of keeping photos off of these sites is a monumental task.

If you don’t believe me just ask George Hill about his infamous crotch shot that is up on that afore mentioned website.

I can’t defend Hill’s decision to snap photos with his camera phone of his privates. I actually find that kind of ridiculous but hey if it’s in your own bedroom, then so be it.

The problem is that somehow these photos got out and my only assumption is that Hill sent these photos to someone who in turn decided to make a few dollars and sent them to the sleaze site who has them posted.

The Spurs are not happy and I’m sure Hill isn’t happy either.

But that doesn’t mean that a person’s goofy mistake should be used to ruin his reputation both with his employer and/or the community where he lives and plays. And that is something I find just offensive beyond explanation.

The problem is that there are plenty of these sites on the web and they are all over the world.

Next to a porn site, I’m pretty sure that there are celebrity blogs and websites up and running with each one in competition of trying to out do the other.

And there are readers who will look for these websites because they actually believe that reading the gossip page puts them a little closer to their favorite celeb when in reality all it does is distort who that person may truly be in real life.

Hill is a great example of how this distortion is now being perceived.

So what do you do about a sleaze bag website that has your employee’s picture up on its site?

If you’re the Spurs you ask them to remove the photos (which in turn only gave the site more publicity than it really needed). If you are George Hill, you might want to track down who sent the photos on your own and file a defamation/slander suit if possible because if those images were only to be between him and one other person, his privacy (or expectation of that between the two parties) has been breached.

Now I’m no lawyer and I may have to ask my good friend Jimmy Parks about that last statement but what truly needs to happen now is for all of us to ignore the slime site that has his pics at all costs. I’m quite sure that the Spurs have this issue under control while they are on the road and Tom James and company are not about to issue a game pass to a website that isn’t a legit news gathering organization.

And as much as I would like to chastise Hill for his dumb ass move here, I can’t 100% say that he should have known better because as Slick Rick says, “This sort of things happens every a day” with famous people of all levels doing something stupid.

But I sure as hell can discourage my friends and media family from giving the site that posted these pictures the exposure they need and champion the cause to make sure they never see the inside of an arena or sports complex as a ‘media’ member.

Because in the end while it may be about not giving sites like this any credibility; it is also about protecting the sanctity of the press as an institution; not the perceived notion of “freedom of the press” on the world wide web.

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