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The Ballad of Richard Justice and Stephanie Stradley

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Richard Justice

went after

Texans offensive line coach Alex Gibbs last week. Since I tend to think Gibbs is a bit overrated in the genius department, I didn’t pay much attention past the original post. I especially didn’t dig through the comments of the post. It appears that I missed some fun, but thanks to an eagle-eyed reader, I’m now in on the fun, and I thought that I would share with you.

The fun came in the comments. Specifically, a comment made by one Stephanie Stradley. Stradley used to do the Texans Chick blog for the Chron, and she’s now a blogger over at AOL Fanhouse. I read the AOL Fanhouse blog, but truth is, I don’t read Stradley’s posts because she mainly writes about the Texans, and I go over to Fanhouse for more national oriented stuff. So that’s why I didn’t see any of this last week.

Anyway, Stradley wanted to know why Justice was calling out Gibbs, especially when the culture of the football coach seems to be one of yelling. Justice, as he is wont to do when challenged, responded by insulting Stradley. Stradley then sent another comment to Justice, which he posted, and which he then responded to by issuing further insults. Now, I would link to those comments over at Chron.com, but as Justice is also wont to do, he deleted Stradley’s comments – Stradley saved them, however, good for her. If you read the rest of what is now on Chron.com, you’ll read several people getting on Justice for his conduct and demanding that he apologize. Justice, being the grown-up that he is, refuses to apologize, but decides to keep insulting Stradley –at one point he compares her to Glenn Close from Fatal Attraction. And supposedly, he’s been repeating the same comments on his radio show.

Stradley does a good job of sticking up for herself, which you can tell from her blog post on the matter, so I’m not going to say anything further regarding that. I’ve got another nit to pick.

And that nit deals with the guy’s continuing unprofessional attitude. I’ve written before about how Justice will delete complete blog posts and rewrite them totally, changing his entire point on a matter. But this thing with the comments just really bugs me. And here’s why: Richard Justice is the one who decides what comments to post, and which comments to not post. If he’s so offended by a comment that he feels the need to delete it, why publish it in the first place?

What really bugs me is that he publishes the comments, makes one of his wiseass comments which encourages others to pile on, then deletes the comment, leaving those coming in late not sure of what’s happening but thinking that Stradley must be a real nut job. And as you see in the Stradley matter, not only does he delete her comment, but he makes it worse by continuing to insult her. Just how is this professional behavior? I can’t say that I agree with all of the points she was trying to make, but unlike other comments which he posts, her tone is not insulting or derogatory.

This is not the first time it’s happened. And I know this as a fact because it’s happened to me. He’s published my comments to his posts, delivered his insult, then deleted the comment, and I know that when I tried to respond, I was ignored.

I don’t know what all goes on over at the Chron. I do personally know several talented writers over at the sports department, and they are professional and always stand by their work. I guess that with Justice being a radio star and frequent ESPN guest that he gets more leeway than the others, but that doesn’t excuse this conduct. – John Royal

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