NABJ Mourns the Loss of Longtime Sports Journalist Drew Sharp
Friday, October 21, 2016
Posted by: Aprill Turner
NABJ mourns the loss of longtime sports journalist Drew Sharp, who spent more than 30 years as a reporter and columnist for the Detroit Free Press.
Sharp died this morning in his suburban Detroit home, according to the Free Press report. He was 56. A cause of death was not immediately known.
"Drew was a Simon Cowell-type figure to sports fans, in Detroit and beyond, in that he often took a hard line on things where you couldn't totally agree," said Marlon A. Walker, NABJ's vice president of print and a former colleague. "But it was good for the conversation. I can't tell you how many times what Drew wrote, and not a specific game, was all people were discussing."
"Drew was one of the best sports columnists America has ever read regardless of race," said Marc Spears, senior NBA writer of The Undefeated and chair of NABJ's Sports Task Force. "Readers loved him or hated him, but they always read him. He's gone way too early. He is already missed and forever respected."
Sharp was known for taking the unpopular opinion in his columns, often clashing with readers for his contrarian role.
In his first column, in 1999, he wrote: "A columnist's role isn't the blindly lead cheers. Nor is it a blank check to slam individuals solely because you have been given a club. But there is a responsibility to raise questions and express doubts. There should be a commitment to deflate the smug and arrogant because, after all, this is only sports..."
About the National Association of Black Journalists:
An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide.