Slanderous Journalism Surrounds Nathan Willingham Arrest

Nathan Willingham, respected California tennis pro and entrepreneur, shows optimism in overcoming damages caused to his reputation by slanderous journalism.

Local athlete and renowned tennis professional, Nathan Willingham, has learned a valuable lesson-the hard way. Most Americans know and respect the protection of sources in the press. What most do not respect, however, is a less than scrupulous journalist including speculations and false quotes to sensationalize a story with little, if any, regard for actual facts. The misguided news coverage of the Nathan Willingham arrest last May is a prime example of this type of inaccurate reporting, as well as the damage that can be incurred by victims of such irresponsibility in the media.

It's true that Willingham was arrested on suspicion of drug use and possession of paraphernalia; a story that local media was quick to report. It's also true, however, that Willingham was quickly released; a fact that local media neglected to mention.

Most importantly it is true that, as of this reporting, all charges against Willingham have been dismissed. But, in spite of the tennis pro's innocence, the damage to his reputation had already been done when a blatantly false quotation was printed as "fact" in front page news.

The journalist reported, "Willingham told deputies he smokes methamphetamine because he needs energy to teach the children who attend his classes at California Elite Tennis Academy." According official police records, no such statement was ever made; a fact of little consolation for Willingham, for whom the damage had already been done.

For Willingham, the arrest was the result of a "wrong place, wrong time" scenario. The empathetic coach had opened his home to a student in need of a place to stay temporarily. Willingham was unaware of any drugs and/or paraphernalia in the vicinity of his home and, while his eventual acquittal would clear his legal record, clearing his name in the media is another battle altogether.

In spite of the unquantifiable damages to his reputation incurred by the fabricated quote, Willingham demonstrates his optimism for the future, saying, "I will get this behind me. There's nowhere to go but forward."

The respected tennis pro and entrepreneur has backed up that optimistic view of the future with the opening of a new tennis academy, among other ambitious endeavors. Willingham is inspiring as he demonstrates that a genuine entrepreneurial American spirit can overcome even the most slanderous reporting.


Categories: Tennis

Tags: arrest, California, nathan willingham, tennis coach, tennis instructor, tennis pro


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