By Barry Janoff
October 2, 2014: Days after playing his final game as a member of the New York Yankees, Derek Jeter has embarked on a new project, The Players’ Tribune, a Web-based platform that "will present the unfiltered voices of professional athletes, bringing fans closer to the games they love than ever before."
According to a statement on the site, The Players’ Tribune "aims to provide unique insight into the daily sports conversation and to publish first-person stories directly from athletes." The site will include articles, polls, videos and podcasts as it "strive(s) to be 'he Voice of the Game.'"
Jeter, who joined the Yankees in 1996, won five World Series and played his entire career with the team, has several endorsement deals and is expected to sign others, in addition to business and investment deals in which he might be involved.
The Players' Tribune is a multi-media digital company founded and published by Derek Jeter and backed by Legendary Entertainment. On it's first official day, Russell Wilson, quarterback for the NFL's Seattle Seahawks, was named as the platform’s first Senior Editor and also author his first piece for the site, which looks at domestic violence and physically abuse in the NFL and in society.
The Players’ Tribune said it would add other "professional athlete editors and contributors" in the coming days and weeks.
"It's simple: Derek Jeter and Legendary are at the top of the game," Wilson said in a statement. "That's where I want to go."
In his inaugural piece, Wilson writes, "I used to beat people up. Truthfully, I used to beat people up a lot. Many of you readers probably think I have been Mr. Goody Two-Shoes my whole life, but honestly, I was a bully growing up. In elementary and middle school, I threw kids against the wall. I rubbed their heads in the dirt at recess. I bit them. I even knocked teeth out . . . I had a lot of anger that I didn’t know what to do with. Thankfully, I was saved by my faith when I was 14 years old, and was able to start living for others instead of just myself."
Wilson writes that he has launched the Why Not You Foundation to raise funds and awareness for several causes, including domestic violence. He also encourages readers to send a donation to The National Domestic Violence Hotline.
According to Jeter, "I realize I’ve been guarded. I learned early on in New York, the toughest media environment in sports, that just because a reporter asks you a question doesn’t mean you have to answer. I attribute much of my success in New York to my ability to understand and avoid unnecessary distractions. 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."
Jeter concludes in his opening piece that his goal "is for the site to ultimately transform how athletes and newsmakers share information, bringing fans closer than ever to the games they love."
Photos: Courtesy The Players' Tribune
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