By Kate Korson
It is not a secret that Roy Halladay is arguably one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball (MLB). It is also not a secret that he worked hard to get there. Yes, as a life-long Phillies fan I will admit that I am partial to this story. But as a public relations professional, I could not resist sharing it.
Sports Illustrated awards Sportman of the Year annually each November. For the past few years Roy Halladay’s name was thrown into the mix for a variety of reasons. Not only is he a future Hall of Fame pitcher, but his work ethic is that of a rookie. Though unbeknownst to most is Halladay’s selfless and humble attitude, which was put on display last October when he was invited to make an appearance on Late Show with David Letterman.
As a PR professional, it is a dream that your client makes an appearance on a show of the caliber of Late Show. Also, as a PR professional it is a nightmare for your client to turn down such an opportunity. Late Show with David Letterman was not the only show Halladay turned down; add CNN and CBS Morning News to that list.
Halladay did not decline the appearances because he was too busy or nervous; Halladay declined because he did not want to overshadow his teammates.
That is the real essence of sportsmanship, the humble and selfless act of putting your team first. Halladay is a true role model. Not just for young children but for other professional athletes. Should all professional athletes start declining major media interviews? Absolutely not. But a small act of selflessness can go a long way. Generally it is frustrating for PR professionals to have a client who is unwilling to participate in interviews. However, Halladay proves an exception to the rule and I respect and admire his decision.
Kate Korson is an Associate Account Executive at Maroon PR. Contact her at Kate@MaroonPR.com.