Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

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An unfortunate, uncomfortable headline

This bothered me: An AP article on Monica Seles looking back on her career, including the stalker's attack that wounded her and sidelined her from tennis for 2 1/2 years, had the headline "Monica Seles faces stabbing as inducted to International Tennis Hall of Fame."

I get what the headline writer meant: Seles spoke about dealing with that attack and its consequences, which sadly affected so much of her career, at her retrospective. But the headline makes it seem that she's about to get stabbed again.

(The headline above the embedded video report isn't much better: "Monica Seles faces pain on day of celebration." A little closer, but still unfortunate. Also, I don't know if the Associated Press or ESPN came up with these headlines, so: who to blame?)

It's insensitive. It doesn't help that the grammar is bad, too. Here is where the word-dropping that usually happens in headlines muddles the meaning: "as she is inducted" would've taken more space (but what big thing? It's the Internet), but been clearer and had a better grammatical flow. But still still, a bad headline, for more than one reason.

What could've been better, asks this veteran headline writer? "Seles reflects on triumphs and pain of her tennis career" would've been generic, but not as likely to rub salt in wounds.

I like Monica Seles. I remember being shocked at her attack: her yell of pain and shock got caught on video, and that's uncomfortable and sad and shocking without the visual. And she deserves better than that headline.

One more thing to add: I admire Seles's sense of humor in grunting at her induction ceremony, "[f]or old, good time sakes."
Tags: sport!

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