An anonymous publicist who represents “several professional athletes in several different sports” is dishing about the seedy underbelly of his job.
After working as a sports journalist, no story about athletes behaving badly will ever surprise me, and it should shock no one to learn that some of them are less than saints (especially those who are Saints).
On the Gawker-owned sports blog Deadspin
, a writer named “Anonymous PR Guy” claims he is telling lies on behalf of these athletes.
“One of the toughest jobs of a publicist is learning how to lie. It's the one thing about my career that keeps me awake at night. I'm not looking for sympathy—I chose this profession. But as some of you know, it can be a dangerous circle, telling lies to keep other lies intact.
“Sometimes I lie to my client's friends, or his wife, or his girlfriend, or his other family members. Quite often I lie to the public.”
More highlights (or, perhaps more accurately, lowlights):
On the reasons athletes hire publicists:
“If an athlete has a publicist, he wants something more: He wants to be famous. There is no other reason.
On a client’s unwillingness to give back to the community:
“He had a charity, too, which was simply a front to pay his family members (as most athlete charities are).”
On paying hush money to people who were beaten up by his client:
“Professionally, I was flawless in my execution. Personally, I felt horrible. But as publicists, as employees of some of the most privileged and self-entitled people in the world, my feelings are inconsequential. We simply have to continue the lie our clients are living.”
The confession, as you probably imagined, stirred a reaction in and out of the PR industry. PR executive Rachel Kay tweeted
that the story is “sensational and nothing more.”
“I don’t think it’s an accurate portrayal of our industry,” she said in another tweet
Another PR professional on Twitter called
the author of the Deadspin
post “the bottom of the barrel ethically.”