Washington Post obituary for NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer sparks fury online

The paper later changed the headline

Graig Graziosi
Thursday 11 February 2021 00:28
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San Diego Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer answers a question at a news conference in San Diego, in this Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2007, file photo. Marty Schottenheimer, who won 200 regular-season games with four NFL teams thanks to his “Martyball� brand of smash-mouth football but regularly fell short in the playoffs, has died. He was 77. Schottenheimer died Monday night, Feb. 8, 2021,  at a hospice in Charlotte, North Carolina, his family said through Bob Moore, former Kansas City Chiefs publicist. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy, File)
San Diego Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer answers a question at a news conference in San Diego, in this Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2007, file photo. Marty Schottenheimer, who won 200 regular-season games with four NFL teams thanks to his “Martyball� brand of smash-mouth football but regularly fell short in the playoffs, has died. He was 77. Schottenheimer died Monday night, Feb. 8, 2021, at a hospice in Charlotte, North Carolina, his family said through Bob Moore, former Kansas City Chiefs publicist. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy, File)
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The Washington Post took a beating for its obituary of longtime NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer.

Some NFL fans thought the newspaper's headline was disrespectful for pointing out his long history of coaching teams that made it to the postseason and then suffered crushing losses.

"Marty Schottenheimer, NFL coach whose teams wilted in the postseason, dies at 77," the headline read.

Retired Philadelphia Eagles kicker David Akers made his displeasure known on Twitter.

"A great man loses his life to an awful disease and this is what is written?!? What a disgrace. This is not ok!!" he wrote. "It's a game and entertainment people. Blown away by this but I guess I shouldn't be."

Sarah Kelly, an editor at Sports Illustrated who formerly worked at the Washington Post Express, said she wished the paper gave critical obituary headlines to people who actually deserved them.

"Wish news orgs were this hard on actual bad guys who leave "complicated" legacies," she wrote.

Some critics pointed out that the paper suspended a reporter for tweeting about Kobe Bryant's rape case shortly after his death, justifying the move by saying the writer had "displayed poor judgement".

Eventually the post updated the headline to something with a more positive spin.

"Marty Schottenheimer, one of the NFL's winningest coaches, dies at 77."

Mr Schottenheimer's career record as a coach was 200-126-1.

The 21 year NFL veteran died of Alzheimer's Disease.

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