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The Dr. V Story: A Letter From The Editor (Grantland / Bill Simmons)
“How could you guys run that?” We started hearing that question on Friday afternoon, West Coast time, right as everyone was leaving our Los Angeles office to start the weekend. We kept hearing that question on Friday night, and all day Saturday, and Sunday, too. We heard it repeatedly on Twitter and Facebook. We sifted through dozens of outraged emails from our readers. We read critiques on various blogs and message boards, an onslaught that kept coming and coming. I don’t remember the exact moment when I realized that we definitely screwed up, but it happened sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning. On Sunday, ESPN apologized on our behalf. I am apologizing on our behalf right now. My condolences to Dr. V’s friends and family for any pain our mistakes may have caused. So what did we screw up? Well, that’s where it gets complicated. The Guardian In a mea culpa that stretches to almost 3,000 words, Grantland’s editor-in-chief Bill Simmons writes that despite being extensively edited by multiple people, the ESPN-affiliated website had made the “massive mistake” of failing to have its article — about the inventor of a revolutionary golf club who committed suicide while the piece was being researched, and whom it posthumously outed as transgender — read before publication by someone familiar with the transgender community. He then lists seven errors of judgment contained in the piece that would probably have been caught and corrected. “I want to apologize. I failed,” Simmons writes. THR In addition to the editor-in-chief’s very lengthy apology, Grantland also posted a response by Christina Kahrl, titled: What Grantland Got Wrong. Not only does Kahrl cover baseball for ESPN.com, she is also on the board of directors for GLAAD, making her a fitting commentator on the issue. She admitted that the fact that Dr. V was a transsexual, “wasn’t merely irrelevant to the story, it wasn’t his information to share.” Kahrl goes on to state that: “I’m trans — so what?” Grantland / Christina Kahrl When you’re a writer, you want something you create to have a long life, to be something that readers will remember and revisit for years to come. If such was Caleb Hannan’s wish, it’s been granted, because his essay on “Dr. V And The Magical Putter” figures to be a permanent exhibit of what not to do, and how not to treat a fellow human being. Deadspin This weekend, Gerri Jordan, proprietor of Yar Golf, agreed to speak with me about the chain of events that led to the October suicide of her partner, Dr. V. Monday, she declined to carry through. “I have spoken with an attorney,” she wrote in an email, “And we are gathering information for potential legal action.”