By Johnny Walker
Rumors of legendary boxing trainer Emanuel Steward’s deteriorating health reached a crescendo today when many boxing sites (including this one) and both Detroit newspapers ran articles announcing the Hall of Fame icon’s death.
Since then, a sometimes ugly firestorm has erupted on Twitter and other social media sites as people heatedly argue about the state of Steward’s health. Both the web sites of the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News have now retracted their stories on Steward’s passing.
Needless to say, this has not been a great day in the history of social media or the Internet in general.
Although we at Boxing Insider received information from those very close to the trainer that he had indeed passed, his family–specifically his sister Diane Steward-Jones—now insists that Steward is still alive.
“You can tell folks that he is alive and being treated by some of the best experts in the world,” Steward-Jones says.
“The Steward family is dismayed and greatly disheartened and disappointed that during this personally challenging time, people would callously and thoughtlessly run wild with untrue statements in order to garner their ’15 minutes of fame.’
“Where is the moral compass of those seeking to capitalize on this situation? Does anybody take the time to check out the facts anymore?
“Many of those issuing reckless statements have our phone numbers as well as Emanuel’s office number and yet, they haven’t called, just issued statements that are terrorizing Emanuel’s children, siblings and relatives that aren’t able to be here at the hospital.”
We at Boxing Insider apologize for any pain that a column we ran earlier may have caused the Steward family or indeed anyone interested in this story.
Until we have definite word beyond all doubt on the condition of Emanuel Steward, we will refrain from commenting further.