A California newspaper recently scrubbed a story suggesting that Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs overdosed on opioids, after it received multiple threats over the article. The Santa Monica Observer published the controversial report, but quickly took it down. The outlet later issued a statement written by publisher David Ganezer, titled, “Why did we take down our original story about the death of a ballplayer?”
In his explanation, Ganezer revealed that he made the decision to take down the article after he was harassed by online critics, as reported by Fox News.
“Not simply in the form of a threat letter from lawyers Kirkland and Ellis, representing the Angels and a certain deceased ball player. And not just in the form of anonymous phone calls and emails,” he said. “No, we also received multiple personal threats and attacks from anonymous sources.
“We’ll never know if they were actually acquainted with the deceased, fans or whatever. But I do know that a young female intern from our organization got a creepy text message on her phone, just after midnight,” Ganezer went on to say, stating that he understands “how out of hand the potential pile-on is getting in this country.”
“There are certain things worth risking your life and safety for, and others that just are not,” the journalist added.
Skaggs passed away on July 1, the same day that his team was scheduled to face off against the Texas Rangers. Following his death, the Rangers issued a press release on the situation.
"Monday night's scheduled game between the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington has been postponed due to the tragic passing of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs," the press release began.
"The Texas Rangers organization wants to express its deepest sympathies to the family of Tyler Skaggs and to the entire Angels organization on this shocking loss," the press release added. "The thoughts and prayers of every member of the Texas Rangers and all of their fans are with the Angels organization at this difficult time. Monday night's game will be made up at a date to be determined."
Skaggs was only 27 years old at the time of his death. An autopsy is being done on his body, but the results will not be available until October.