American runner Lolo Jones went on NBC’s Today Show to talk about her heartbreaking loss in the fastest ever women’s 100 meter hurdle race in Olympic history. Jones lost by one-hundredth of a second and missed a bronze medal by that slim margin. Instead of medaling, Jones finished fourth — something that New York Times columnist Jere Longman was ranting about this weekend.
The Times ran a piece by Longman in which he blasted Jones, calling her a “fame seeker”, drew comparisons between Jones and tennis could-have-been Anna Kournikova, and claimed that she only had a “slim chance” of medaling in the 100 meter race she ended up finishing fourth in — and not medaling. Longman also went on a methodic rant, destroying Jones for her values and actions he views as contradictions to her Christian morales.
Jones claims to be a 30-year old virgin and a devout Christian not unlike the way Tim Tebow carries himself. Yet Longman points out that Jones has posed nude for ESPN the Magazine in 2009 and accused her of only being interested in the image of being an athlete and not actually being an athlete.
On the Today Show, Jones was questioned about the Longman article and after about five seconds of keeping her cool, Jones began to meltdown and was soon in tears. Jones couldn’t fathom a god reason why not only a journalist, but a U.S. journalist could be so cruel as to rip apart someone who “six days a week, every day for four years for a 12 second race”.
Obviously the sides will be divided as some of the more animated and patriotic fans of Olympic sports, those who tend to also be devout Christians, are not going to be on the side of a journalist attacking one of their own. But even those people can see that Jones went a little overboard with her meltdown on the Today Show.
The video pretty much speaks for itself but what do you think? Was Lolo Jones within her rights as an athlete to punch the media right back for criticizing her work ethic or did she go overboard in her defense of herself? You’ve seen the video, you be the judge.