Home > Journalists in the news > Blazers ban Daily News sports editor Drinnan (updated with proper spelling)

Blazers ban Daily News sports editor Drinnan (updated with proper spelling)

January 4, 2011

I’ve since posted an update on Gregggate. Find it here.

Kamloops Daily News sports editor Gregg Drinnan, (spelling error fixed, sorry) who I read somewhere is considered the dean of the WHL gallery and whose widely read blog is the best source out their for WHL news, has been banned from speaking with the Kamloops Blazers until he writes nicer things. (Thanks to Kamloops This Week reporter Dale Bass on Jsource for the heads up.)

The Blazers may have been provoked by a recent column that closes:

In the meantime, Blazers fans are left to wonder just what has happened to this once-proud franchise and why it is unable to fix the things that are holding it back.

As one member of the organization was heard to say the other day: “You’d think there was a curse over us, or something.”

Kamloops Daily News editor Mel Rothenburger responded to the banning today with a column that you can find in full here. Here’s the gist:

This is unacceptable to us as a newspaper. It’s also unacceptable to the Western Hockey League, or should be, since it clearly violates league policy.

Unfortunately, the league has so far declined to lift the ban on Drinnan, and so has the team. We’re attempting to work with the team and league to resolve what is, to our knowledge, an unprecedented infringement of transparency and free speech in the reporting and analysing of hockey not only in this league, but across the country.

We don’t believe Craig Bonner and Tom Gaglardi, nor the rest of the team’s partners and managers, are unreasonable people. However, this ban betrays a certain desperation about the fact the team’s mojo remains missing in action. It won’t get the community the kind of team it deserves.

more….

Mel makes clear that Gregg  “doesn’t get mean about the players.” That’s important, these are 18-year-old kids who shouldn’t have to take unnecessary pot shots from reporters. Their coaches and general managers, on the other hand, are more than fair game, especially in a community like Kamloops where the local junior team is so revered.

In the meantime, Gregg has been writing about the Blazers by speaking to opposing players and coaches and quoting visiting media who are allowed to speak to Kamloops players.

I’ll point out that mentioning the banning would make great fodder for sports reporters looking for a new way to write “Blazers suck” in their columns.

I would also like to see someone craft an open letter, to be signed by local sports reporters, that can be forwarded to the league.

Any takers?

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