At the height of the Canadian riots after the Stanley Cup loss of the Vancouver Canucks to the Boston Bruins, reports of violence, looting and arson were plentiful (2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup riot). One story however stood out from the usual pack as it was not the usual teenagers and groups of troublemakers making headlines but instead a future Canadian Olympic candidate being in the centre of media scrutiny. Prior to the start of the riots, Nathan Kotylak was on his way to representing the Canadian water polo team in the 2012 London Olympics. Instead of making headlines for his performance in the water pool, he has found himself in the middle of a media frenzy after pictures taken by witnesses emerged online showing him participating in the torching of a police vehicle. The 18-year-old from Maple Ridge, B.C has apologized to the Canadian Sports Committee in June but was still banned from the professional until 2013 and will not be eligible for any funding by the sporting committee for two years.
The new “Water polo player suspended for role in Vancouver riot”, reported by CBC sports (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), focuses on the individual Nathan Kotylak in particular detail as the article tries to convey to its readers the mindset of the individual. In this particular case not only do they give a story or report on the situation of the arson but as well as separate section underneath giving a brief background story on the criminal at hand. In particular the article attempts to allow the responder to relate to Nathan by using a much more sympathetic tone and language such as constantly saying ‘apologetic’ and ‘taking responsibility’. To support this point the author even places a small photo with a clear water background behind Nathan to create an innocent image and feel for the readers.
Nathan Kotylak apology video. Click here.