Gotstyle ensnared in Jose Bautista Sportsnet controversy
For more than three months, the Toronto Blue Jays' Jose Bautista hasn't participated in a single one-on-one interview with Sportsnet, the team's official broadcaster (Rogers Communications owns both the Jays and Sportsnet). The reason? A dapper blue Ted Baker suit.
UPDATE: The Toronto Star reports that the issue has been resolved between Sportsnet and Jose Bautista.
In May, Jays rookie Devon Travis participated in a makeover segment on Sportsnet wherein anchor Hazel Mae helped him upgrade his wardrobe at popular local menswear shop Gotstyle.
Travis apparently paid for his new clothes out of pocket. And now, Bautista is standing up for his teammate. The right fielder is refusing to speak with Sportsnet until the network pays for the garments or hands Travis an equivalent Gotstyle gift card, notes the Toronto Star.
Gotstyle detailed the segment on its blog a few months back, and now many are taking to social media urging the store to cover the cost of Travis's new suit.
Gotstyle owner Melissa Austria says she gave Travis a discount at the store. "We asked if we should gift the suit and they [Sportsnet] said no but feel free to give him a discount," writes Austria via email. "I think this was for journalistic integrity so they aren't 'buying their stories' by giving free product to athletes.
"We ended up giving Devon 50% off everything and rushing alterations that day so he could wear the suit the next day to take his mom out for dinner. He later tweeted us thanking us for the suit," she continues. Her full statement is posted below.
As the Star article notes, this whole situation suggests a murky ethical dilemma over who should pay for Travis's clothing. Some, such as Bautista, insist it's unfair for Travis to fork over cash since the segment was Sportnet's idea. Others, however, argue it's journalistically unsound for Sportsnet to foot the bill.
Here's a roundup of some of the Twitter chatter regarding this whole suit debacle.
Statement from Gotstyle owner Melissa Austria:
It's unfortunate that this story came out this way. We always take care of our athletes when it comes to initiatives that we do ourselves but in this case we were approached by Sportsnet to see if they could film in the store a story about Devon Travis and have him come to the store and buy his first suit.
We asked if we should gift the suit and they said no but feel free to give him a discount. I think this was for journalistic integrity so they aren't "buying their stories" by giving free product to athletes. We ended up giving Devon 50% off everything and rushing alterations that day so he could wear the suit the next day to take his mom out for dinner. He later tweeted us thanking us for the suit.
I'd love to turn this around and give free suits to the guys who really need it, men who are transitioning from the military into civilian life and don't have a proper suit to wear to job interviews. We've done great work with True Patriot Love in the past raising $25,000 with Joffrey Lupul. Maybe a challenge for Bautista, for every game they win, we'll donate a suit to a solider if he'll matches.
Either way, the Jays are doing amazing why are we even talking about this?
Who do you think should pay for Travis's sartorial makeover? Let us know in the comments.
This post was originally published before we received comment from Gostyle owner Melissa Austria. We've now updated the post to include her statement.
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