Broadcast news legend Dan Rather wants the public to know Tyler Skaggs' official cause of death. The Los Angeles Angels player was found dead in his hotel room on July 1 just before the team was set to play the Texas Rangers. While the official cause of death has not been released, police have ruled out suicide or foul play.
"Do I think the public should know about the death of that pitcher? You bet. I do think the public should know," Rather told TooFab in a new interview. "I am aware that the family is entitled to some privacy, and if the family made a request for privacy, I did think seriously about that, but you know he was 27-years-old.... to be found under those circumstances. You bet, I think the public should know."
"A family is right to keep some things private," he added. "But in this case, he was a public person. So, I come down on the side; yes, I think the public should know."
Rather admitted he was surprised the MLB decided to cancel the game following the tragic loss, but knew it was the right decision at the time.
"Life is unpredictable. You never know, you're 27, you're having a great year, you're living your dream, boom it goes," he added. "This is a reminder of how fragile life is."
Rather's comments come days after a California newspaper retracted a story suggesting Skaggs died of an opioid overdose following massive blowback. Santa Monica Observer publisher David Ganezer issued a statement on the topic, explaining harassment from online trolls let them to take down the story.
"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 continued, 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.
The Angels released a statement on Skaggs' passing shortly after news of his death first broke.
"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."