Toronto Maple Leafs forward confronts Steve Simmons over perceived unethical reporting.
Following the Toronto Maple Leafs loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of their Stanley Cup Playoffs Qualifying Round, superstar center Auston Matthews finally got to directly address Toronto Sun reporter, Steve Simmons, over his article from earlier this summer, in which he outed Matthews as testing positive for COVID-19.
Matthews has, of course, fully recovered from the virus, and judging on his play thus far, it hasn’t left any noticeable lasting effects on his athleticism, physical fitness, or his goal-scoring ability.
In the media availability following Game 1, Matthews and Morgan Rielly were asked by Simmons about the Columbus Blue Jackets’ defensive tightness, to which Auston took the opportunity to reply:
“First of all, it’s unfortunate I’m getting a question from you at this point, Steve, I just wanted to say that I didn’t appreciate the article you wrote about me a couple of months ago. I thought it was a bit unethical, to be honest.”
Matthews’ tone when replying indicates that he’d very much like to say something to Simmons that is unprintable, something that many Leafs, including two-time Stanley Cup Champion Phil Kessel, have wanted to do in the past.
However, without breaking a stride, he still answered the question. Ultimate pro move, and a true “mic drop” moment, as Matthews exudes a level of professionalism that is truly impressive.
You can see the entire exchange here:
Simmons led the charge on running Kessel out of town five years ago, then published a disgusting hit piece on the All-Star winger.
It’s only a matter of time before he turns his gaze on Auston Matthews, or Rasmus Sandin, or Nick Robertson, or any other member of the Leafs.
In a few short weeks, I’m beginning a journalism program, with aspirations to one day cover the Toronto Maple Leafs in a professional capacity.
One course that is mandatory for all journalism students covers journalistic integrity and ethical reporting. Without having even begun my studies yet, I can tell you that I would not have taken the same course that Simmons took with Matthews.
Here are the facts: Simmons somehow acquired Matthews’ private medical records from the hospital in Arizona where he was diagnosed. Neither Matthews himself nor anyone representing him, be it his agent or Leafs PR staff, would comment on the matter, so it is therefore easy to draw the conclusion that Simmons did not have consent to publicize Matthews’ positive test.
Famous athlete or no, publishing the contents of someone’s medical records without consent is, in my opinion, a breach of privacy.
It was extremely satisfying to see Matthews stick up for himself in this capacity.