Basketball stars have always created controversy on and off the court. Gilbert Arenas is no exception. A former point guard for the Washington Wizards, Arenas brought firearms to his team’s locker room, creating a PR disaster. According to ESPN, Arenas brought the firearms because team member Javaris Crittenton had a disagreement over a gambling debt. The final punishment for his actions was suspension from playing any games for the rest of the season.
Not only has Arenas destroyed his image, he also decided to make gun references with his hands in a team huddle showing that he has no remorse for his actions (sports.espn.go.com).
This was a PR disaster for Gilbert Arenas publicist because it is his or her job to rebuild the image he has just tarnished. Colin O’Keefe, a sports writer for Pastthepressbox.com, gives a few options on how to gain back the image lost and the trust of the fans again:
1. Show some humility- Acknowledge when you are wrong. In Gilbert Arenas’ case, he needs to apologize for his actions and if he offended anyone with his pregame joke.
2. Have a voice- Take to Twitter, Facebook and any social media outlet to explain what happened from your own perspective and apologize personally to your fans and team. Arenas’ PR team is in charge of making sure what he says makes his image better but at the same time sounds like himself.
All athletes make ethical errors that may directly affect their jobs but it’s their publicist’s job to teach and even tell them how they should handle it in a personal manner like tweeting to fans. The publicist’s job is to rebuild their client’s image when mistakes are made.