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October 06, 2007

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» Admitting Guilt from Business Blogging Pros
David Meerman Scott's Web Ink Now is one of my favorite blogs on the subjects of marketing and PR. He recently wrote a great post about Olympic athlete Marion Jones' emotional admission of guilt. No matter what your feelings about [Read More]

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Jeff Brown

Please pardon me for my ire, and language. I read you habitually and love your stuff.

That said...

Grace and honesty my ass.

This woman is close to if not actually amoral in character. She's been staring into the same cameras for seven years denying what she finally was FORCED to admit by the empirical evidence brought to light by the Federal Prosecutor.

She's maintained, with her sweetest smile, and soft voice, that her 'incredible work ethic' and the world class talent with which she was blessed, was the reason for her nearly unmatched success. She's been putting that out since day one.

She's a cheat and a liar who got caught, and is now doing the scripted dance expected of a soon to be convicted felon. This will go far, she hopes, in moderating the consequences about to be reaped by her actions.

Grace and honesty indeed.

Give me a break.

Idan

(this is going to sound a lot like the first commenter but I had to write it nonetheless)
David, your items are usually at the top of my reading lists. But I must say I don't know how to stomach this one. Grace?! Powerful speech!?! in the words of the Y generation: OMG, you've been punked. Marion Jones is a cheap cheat, a liar and a cynical woman, who blemished a tradition that's millenia old, cheated honest athletes out of the medals they deserved at the time they deserved them, and her deeds are basically the worst crimes any athlete can commit against sports culture. To lose sight of all this in the name of speech aesthetics is simply unacceptable and in my view tarnishes your own reputation, specifically in your field. I deeply regret having read this post today.

David Meerman Scott

Idan and Jeff,

You are both correct of course.

Marion Jones is a lyer and a cheat and she stole the Olympic dreams away from others who legitimately worked for their skill. She betrayed the trust of the American people and of her family, friends, teammates, and coaches.

I don't disagree with either of you about her actions. She is a total disgrace.

But -- I still think that when she finally chose to admit guilt that she did it better than anyone else I have heard.

Sorry if that disappoints you both, but it is the way that I feel.

Thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate it.

David

saundra

Now if only O.J. would show such grace....

Jeff Brown

David - where we absolutely disagree is this:

She didn't CHOOSE to admit guilt under any definition of the word 'choose'.

She held her ground for seven long years, calling black white, and up down, all the while smiling and acting offended.

The only worse example of this sort of behavior is OJ. At least when the mountain of empirical evidence showed her up for what she really is, she 'chose' the smart PR route.

But she didn't CHOOSE to admit her guilt - she was CHOSEN by the prosecutor and his evidence.

She's a phony, a liar, and a cheat. And anyone who buys her act believes OJ is looking for the real killers.

It amazes me anyone buys her bilge.

Do you believe Barry Bonds too? He maintains he was ignorant of what was in his 'supplements'.

Liz

David

Great post and, in contrast to some of the other folks who have commented here I agree with you. Her apology was handled very well.

Yes, Marion Jones lied and cheated but she is still one of the greatest athletes in the world. What I mean is that no "normal" person could never ever perform at Ms. Jones' level even if he/she took performance enhancing drugs. Period. For example, if I started using steroids tomorrow I still couldn't come close to performing at the same level she did before she started using drugs (she didn't use them for her entire career).

I think its a tragedy that this great athlete's records will be erased because of her conduct...mind you I am not saying that anyone should ignore her mistakes or make an exception for her. She knew the potential ramifications of taking drugs before she ever did so which is why she lied all those years. She may have cheated but she is still a great athlete and I think we should try to remember that. Perhaps she would have won without the drugs. Or have come in second place....it's still better than what any "normal" person could achieve. I just think its sad that she chose to use the drugs thereby causing this chain of events.

I would like to mention, for what it's worth, that her ex-husband is the one who told prosecutors that she was using drugs. He probably cut some kind of a deal with the prosecutors who were investigating him for steroid use.

I wonder how many athletes use banned substances or performance enhancing drugs? It seems like an awful lot of them use drugs which is really too bad.

Liz

Liz

David

Great post and, in contrast to some of the other folks who have commented here I agree with you. Her apology was handled very well.

Yes, Marion Jones lied and cheated but she is still one of the greatest athletes in the world. What I mean is that no "normal" person could never ever perform at Ms. Jones' level even if he/she took performance enhancing drugs. Period. For example, if I started using steroids tomorrow I still couldn't come close to performing at the same level she did before she started using drugs (she didn't use them for her entire career).

I think its a tragedy that this great athlete's records will be erased because of her conduct...mind you I am not saying that anyone should ignore her mistakes or make an exception for her. She knew the potential ramifications of taking drugs before she ever did so which is why she lied all those years. She may have cheated but she is still a great athlete and I think we should try to remember that. Perhaps she would have won without the drugs. Or have come in second place....it's still better than what any "normal" person could achieve. I just think its sad that she chose to use the drugs thereby causing this chain of events.

I would like to mention, for what it's worth, that her ex-husband is the one who told prosecutors that she was using drugs. He probably cut some kind of a deal with the prosecutors who were investigating him for steroid use.

I wonder how many athletes use banned substances or performance enhancing drugs? It seems like an awful lot of them use drugs which is really too bad.

Liz

Jeff Brown

Are you guys kdding? Normal people? She competed exclusively against the elite of the elite athletes in the world. She didn't 'out work' them, she took illegal drugs to beat them by cheating.

What part of this is difficult to grasp?

You're probably not conversant with what I do, which is investment real estate. That makes you a normal person. Can you compete with me in my business? The question is absurd on its face.

She planned to cheat. She sought out the supplier. She made sure her supply was always available. She took extreme precautions to fool the various drug tests she knew she'd have to take.

And that's just the highlights of the planning and execution of her monstrous and amoral plan to fool the world.

Change what she did to serial armed bank robberies. Are you still so forgiving?

This is comical.

David Meerman Scott

Jeff,

I am only commenting on what happened on one day - October 5, 2007 when she finally went in front of the cameras. That's all. I thought she did a good job that particular moment -- for 4 minutes of her life. It is a performance worth watching which is why I wrote this post.

Her actions for the decade leading up to October 5, 2007 were apalling and disgraceful and I do not condone or support them in any way, shape, or form.

David

Jeff Brown

David

When you do what she did for nearly a decade, and probably longer when we find out the whole truth, four minutes just don't cut it.

Is she contrite? You bet. Is she sorry? Ditto. But to give her credit, or even the benefit of the doubt when it comes to her sincerity?

That thinking is what keeps con men rich.

At some point one must be able to discern reality, and understand relative behaviors.

She wants to act her way through this whole scripted drama. She wishes to come off as the wayward child who now sees the error of her way.

If it wasn't for the diligent U.S. Attorney's office you would have never seen that video in your lifetime. She would have allowed life to go on the way it always had.

And you would have thought she was what we all wished our daughters could become.

Wait until you find out how much worse the real story is, as it slowly unfolds.

She's a selfish, amoral, spoiled brat who understands the jig is up - and is now playing her new part incredibly well.

I feel like we're living life in the Sound of Music and there are too many folks playing the part of Mary Poppins.

Abby Marmion

Well, at least she finally admitted her guilt.

It's unfortunate. Either all athletes should be able to use the juice or no one should. It's just an unfair playing field and puts pressure on the athletes.

I was a swimmer in the 70s and 80s and it appeared the female swimmers from other countries were using performance enhancing drugs. It was very disheartening. They looked like guys and had their physical strength as well. We trained to hard but could not keep up.

We hope our athletes can be role models but they are human just like the rest of the world and unfortunately succomb to the pressure...

Abby Marmion

Jeff Brown

Abby - In your judgment, would she have 'admitted her guilt but for the criminal charges and overwhelming evidence against her?

Abby

Perhaps she just caved into the pressure knowing what was coming. While I don't condone lies, I've told them -- most of us have told them. I've not told a lie that big.

I'm disappointed in her but respect the fact she at least had the guts to come forward now.

We place too much emphasis on athletes these days. It's out of control. Seems it's only about winning, going faster, better, getting bigger, etc. What happened to the "sport"? Money and endorsements...

Abby

Ryan Sasaki

Hi David,

Nice post. I agree it was a decent speech. I HATE it when athletes or celebrities get up in these Press Conferences and read apologies from a script.

I do not condone Jones' actions one bit, but I think she at least made an effort to speak in an open and authentic way.

Compare this speech to Mark McGuire or Michael Vick's responses to accusations and guilt in recent history...

gowri

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Mike Pedersen Golf

Hey David! Man it's been a while since we've had contact. I hope your book is doing well.

In regards to Marion, she got caught, but they all do steroids. They have the best chemists in the world to mask their drugs and allow them to pass the drub tests.

I still admire Marion!

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