Simone Manuel Headline Wording Causes Controversy
Sports| | By Brian Delpozo
A California newspaper finds itself in hot water this morning after some found elements of their Olympic coverage offensive.
The San Jose Mercury News featured a story about the Rio games centered on 20-year-old Simone Manuel, the first African-American woman to ever win gold in an individual swimming event. However, the paper’s tweet promoting the article proved to be controversial.
— Los (@GrapeSodaPapi) August 12, 2016
Once the tweet was posted, users immediately noticed that Manuel’s name wasn’t used, she was simply referred to by her race. Furthermore, her accomplishment was overshadowed by Phelps even though coverage of the male swimmer made up a small portion of the story.
The paper’s own Tim Kawakami spoke out against it by tweeting, “This is a terrible headline. It’s my paper. I may get in trouble for saying it, but it’s a terrible headline.”
This is a terrible headline. It's my paper. I might get in trouble for saying it, but it's a terrible headline. https://t.co/ulQyf2eVnu
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) August 12, 2016
Other users also blasted the headline:
— GP (@GPWriter) August 12, 2016
— Frank Girardot (@FrankGirardot) August 12, 2016
@mercnews Question: Why does Simone Manuel's historic win have to be presented in context with Michael Phelps'? Can a lady get her own here?
— Txnewsprincess (@txnewsprincess) August 12, 2016
The paper eventually apologized for the gaffe, amending the story to read, “The original headline on this story was insensitive and has been updated to acknowledge the historic gold medal wins by both Simone Manuel and Michael Phelps.”
Some users still took issue with the paper due to the new headlines continued focus on Phelps.
We apologize for an insensitive headline earlier on a story about Simone Manuel and Michael Phelps' medal wins. https://t.co/ykWvcddaKf
— Mercury News (@mercnews) August 12, 2016
— Yoni Blumberg (@yblumberg) August 12, 2016
@mercnews Apologize? Why did you write it in the first place? NO ONE in that newsroom thought it was wrong? Straight BS.
— Valencia (@VeeeKaaay) August 12, 2016