A Californian newspaper is facing serious blowback after publishing a story suggesting that LA Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died of an opioid overdose.
LA Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs was found dead in his room at the Hilton Southlake Hotel in Texas on July 1st. He was 27 years old.
Patrick Corbin writes 45 on the mound to pay tribute to his best friend Tyler Skaggs. pic.twitter.com/tUVbZRb3mK
— Cut4 (@Cut4) July 2, 2019
The Santa Monica Observer speculated that Skaggs had died from an opioid overdose enabled by multiple prescriptions from doctors “unaware of each other’s treatments.” There was no evidence at this time to suggest such extrapolation.
After publishing that post, the Observer was met with a resounding number of threats. An Angels spokesperson claimed that the article was “categorically incorrect” and said the “reckless reporting from Tyler’s hometown paper is disappointing and harmful.”
The article was eventually taken down.
The weekly’s publisher, David Ganezer, wrote an op-ed entitled “Why did we take down our original story about the death of a ballplayer?” explaining their decision.
“Not simply in the form of a threat letter from lawyers Kirkland and Ellis, representing the Angels and a certain deceased ball player. And not just in the form of anonymous phone calls and emails. No, we also received multiple personal threats and attacks from anonymous sources.”
“We’ll never know if they were actually acquainted with the deceased, fans or whatever. But I do know that a young female intern from our organization got a creepy text message on her phone, just after midnight.”
“There are certain things worth risking your life and safety for, and others that just are not.”
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) July 3, 2019