This week, Draymond Green's mom, in a tweet, seemed to take issue with the way Kevin Durant played in the Warriors Game 2 loss to the Rockets.
Several newspapers did stories on what the NBA forward's mom had to say.
Then the father of Myles Brennan, who just inherited some new competition for the LSU quarterbacking job, weighed in on that.
"I think Joe Burrow has three years and 15 pounds on Myles. That's it," Owen Brennan said.
Should these remarks--and others like them--make headlines?
I'm not going to tell other reporters how to do their jobs, but personally, I feel squeamish about it.
(Yes, I'm providing the links in this piece, but I feel it's necessary to illustrate what I'm discussing.)
My first question would be this: Is it newsworthy that Draymond's mother wants her son to get more shots, or that Myle's dad believes his son has the talent to start?
There's a principle in this business called "man bites dog." If a dog bites a man, it's not front page news, because it happens so often. If a man bites a dog? Well, that's different...and someone should be charged with animal cruelty.
A parent supporting their child certainly appears to be more of a case of the former than the latter.
Second, is it ethical to needlessly put someone in a no-win situation? Isn't that what you're doing if you're asking a dad whether his son should play or elevating the thoughts of a mother who wants her son to touch the ball more often? You're guaranteed to alienate your child's teammates if you back them, but what's the alternative?
There's a news principle regarding that, too. It's called "when did you stop beating your wife?" because journalism professors will often use that as an example of an unfair question.
Now there are caveats. For instance, when the parents of several Ohio State football players pushed for a stipend for families of bowl-bound athletes, those parents were doing something newsworthy.
There are indeed times when an athlete's parent is a newsmaker in their own right. Joseph Laurinaitis tweeted his disgust with Michigan this week. That's notable since James Laurinaitis' dad is the professional wrestler Road Warrior Animal, and he was objecting to the Wolverines using an image of his tag team, the Legion of Doom.
I also think asking a parent's opinion is different than, say, asking them to confirm a story. I know of instances where parents have corroborated an injury or given important information regarding a suspension.
In general, though, if you're Tate Martell's mom, you can feel free to call me. I'll ask how much your son has grown during his time at Ohio State. I will not, however, ask your thoughts on Dwayne Haskins.
(For irony's sake, I'm adding this an addendum. Here's a quote from my Mom, whom I asked about interviewing athletes' parents. She simply responded, "Don't reporters have enough news to cover without trying to create more on their own?")