The Players’ Tribune Fails to Cut the Middleman (Journalists) Out of Journalism

Diana Moskovitz:

What exactly have we learned from the opening salvos of The Players' Tribune? What deep, dark secrets are these great athletes finally empowered to reveal now that the burden of dealing with reporters is removed? The first post, from " Derek Jeter," opens with the expected platitudes about how great New York fans are, how great baseball fans are, and how grateful he is. It then turns from the usual platitudes to the usual Jeter routine of speaking while saying nothing:

“I do think fans deserve more than "no comments" or "I don't knows." Those simple answers have always stemmed from a genuine concern that any statement, any opinion or detail, might be distorted. I have a unique perspective. Many of you saw me after that final home game, when the enormity of the moment hit me. I'm not a robot. Neither are the other athletes who at times might seem unapproachable. We all have emotions. We just need to be sure our thoughts will come across the way we intend.”

Great, except at no point in the piece does "Derek Jeter" say what's on his mind. There is no first-person story; there are no behind-the-scenes details. He is, instead, during the only truly Jeter thing there is to do—selling a product. (Himself, in this case.) The only thing missing from his sales pitch is a button advertising T-shirts for $39.99, plus shipping and handling.

Yeah, I was initially excited by this premise, but it’s turned out to be pretty vapid. There’s a reason politicians shouldn’t be allowed to investigate themselves.