This video is going viral. It’s a few years old and shows Mike Harrington of the The Buffalo News preventing a kid from joining a Sabres media scrum:

There’s not a lot of context from 12 seconds of video, which apparently dates back to 2019. Harrington, who was getting obliterated on Twitter, issued a statement on the incident Monday night, saying this via his personal account (skip down to the 3rd paragraph) –

Alright, well it seems like a plausible explanation that the former PR guy, Chris Bandura, more or less corroborates in a thread of his own.

Twitter is crushing this guy because he was rude to a kid, which is understandable. We’ve been consistent in our thought that sports media really is not that important, which is why when people like Maggie Gray complain about Nick Sirianni’s kids being up at the podium and bothering big J writers who are trying to do a job, all we can do is laugh and roll our eyes. You’re getting quotes from a football coach, not covering the American withdrawal from Afghanistan. Try to tone it down in the self-importance department.

But when you watch the video again, you see the “shoo” motion coming from Bandura as well, and he’s the one who should be policing the scrum in the first place. He’s the team employee. This Harrington guy should just defer to PR, since it’s not his job to decide who can and cannot be in the scrum. Spare us the corny stuff about “monitoring” interview scrums as a sacred PHWA duty. It’s not that big of a deal. Even if his intentions were justified, he looks like a little bit like a tool here.

In terms of kids holding up a microphone or even asking questions, 99% of it is harmless. Eagles fan Giovanni Hamilton was at Super Bowl media day. No big deal. His presence didn’t prevent any other professional journalists from getting their questions in, nor is he being issued a credential to be a full-time reporter next season. We can have a separate discussion on appropriate entrance points for college or high school journos in training, but ultimately you’re not damaging the sanctity of a scrum if some kid stands there next to you. If you wanted to prevent this kid from hearing foul language, that’s fine, but in a sanitized vacuum, this wouldn’t be anything to worry about.