Attorney and lobbyist Lanny Davis has an impressive resume—he was a special counsel to President Bill Clinton and served on the congressional Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board—as well as an abysmal reputation.
When Penn State University hired him as an adviser to its new president in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, New York Magazine
declared the very act of employing Davis an admission of being “extremely culpable.” He has worked for dictators and coup supporters
and has been hammered for being a shill
Davis may be on a quest to turn his reputation around by wading into the world of sports, Gawker’s Tom Scocca concludes
. In a radio interview
this month, Davis came off as a calming influence in a story about the Washington Redskins’ team name and the team’s owner, Dan Snyder, a longtime client of Davis’.
Snyder had previously said that the team’s name would simply never
change, and he invited reporters to use all-caps.
“I don’t think saying ‘all caps never’ is the right tone,” Davis said in the interview. “I think [he should be] saying we care about peoples’ feelings, we’re respectful when anyone is offended, but we have this 80-year name that we love.”
Many people disagree with Davis’ assertion that the Redskins name should stay. Davis’ nods to respecting feelings at least acknowledge some of the anger out there.
Now, Davis is reportedly representing suspended New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who has had some difficulties with PR representatives of late
. Major League Baseball suspended Rodriguez for 211 games for alleged doping violations.
“Rodriguez is actually a bit of an unlikely client for Davis—although he's super-rich and viscerally unlikeable, he's not indisputably in the wrong,” Scocca wrote at Gawker
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People love sports. They love sports heroes, even when they’re tarnished. Perhaps Davis is trying to leverage that love to end his reign as, as Gawker
puts it, a “sour punchline.”