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Common Reading 2019: Amos Barshad

"What Happens When Athletes Do the Sportswriting?"

"In the future, perhaps, every last person will get to broadcast his or her own particular worldview, free of objectivity, on a bespoke, partisan media organ, with slick photography and design. And it will be up to us to decide what version of the truth we want to believe."

—Amos Barshad

Amos Barshad

Amos Barshad is a New York based author who has written for New York Magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times and is a staff writer for Grantland. His first book, No One Man Should Have All That Power will be published by Abrams Press on April 9, 2019. 


Craig A. Stark is an Associate Professor of Communications, Faculty Advisor to WQSU FM-HD1, and Department Head of Communications at Susquehanna University. He received his PhD. in Mass Communications from the Pennsylvania State University, his MA from Stephen F. Austin State University, and his BA from the University of North Texas. He is also co-author of the ninth edition of the Audio Production Worktext (2019). In his spare time, he enjoys watching baseball and basketball, reading, gardening, playing video games, and hanging out with his family. 

Introduction by Craig A. Stark

Discussion Questions

1. What are some benefits of athletes telling their own stories?


2. What other industries have individuals who are falsely portrayed in the media?

In-Class Activities

1. Have students research specific athletes and times that they were portrayed falsely in the media.


2. This article discusses how social media could be harmful for athletes in the media.

Split students into groups of 3-5 people and have them discuss how social media could be harmful

to them as well.

Act It Out

2 Actors:  Amos Barshad, Derek Jeter


Amos:  Is it possible that The Players’ Tribune was a retaliation against gossip columnist that have been bothering you for so long?

Jeter (shrugs): You know how many phone calls I’ve gotten from my mom when I was younger, asking me questions?  Eventually you just have to shrug it off.  Everything you do is public knowledge.

Amos:  What about Alex Rodriguez, your friend and teammate.  Hasn’t he been notoriously bad at managing his public image?  Did you ever try to help him?

Jeter:  I spoke with everyone.  I would stress accountability to anyone who came into our organization.

Amos:  If you were with the Yankees today, would you take a knee during the playing of the National Anthem?

Jeter:  I’m not in the clubhouse now.  I’ll say: Everyone has the right to peaceful protest.


Skits contributed by Dr. Jennifer Sacher-Wiley and Samantha Schwarz

Additional Resources