I have known Grant Wahl for a long time.
Back in the mid-1990s, Grant, Jon Wertheim and I (or is it me? I always screw this up) came up through the Sports Illustrated ranks rather swiftly. We all started as reporters, and together we were promoted from reporter to writer-reporter to staff writer to senior writer. We talked writing, lived the sports journalistic dream, etc … etc. Hence, I will always share a sense of kinship with Grant, a good guy and a good writer.
Yesterday evening someone e-mailed me, “Why is Grant Wahl running for FIFA president?”
I said, “Uh, what?”
“No,” I said. “I’m sure it’s just a device or something.”
I was directed to the above video, which is sorta hard to read. Is Grant actually running? Is he making a point? Well, if one visits Grant’s Twitter page, it appears that he’s pretty serious about this. He linked to an SI.com poll that shows him with a big hypothetical lead, he has a Palin-esque Facebook candidacy page, he’s receiving support from the likes of Steve Nash and Seth Meyers.
The question is this: Is this journalistic? Is it something a writer can do and still be deemed impartial and righteous in in job?
The answer: I don’t know. Not sure. If it’s all a joke—OK. No problem, I suppose. But if there’s any seriousness about mounting a genuine campaign, well, I think a line is crossed.
Just my take.