Derek Jeter hasn’t even been retired from Major League Baseball for a week, and the future Hall of Famer is already on to his first business venture.
Jeter is launching a website called The Players’ Tribune, where he says players will be able to share their first-hand experiences with fans without fear of their stories being distorted by the media.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Jeter is the Founding Publisher of the Site
Shortstop. Captain. All-Star. World Series champion. And now publisher.
Jeter wrote a letter, posted on the new site Wednesday, explaining the site’s mission. He signed it “founding publisher” and wrote that he’ll be hiring a “strong core of athlete editors and contributors.”
2. The Company That Produced ’42’ Is Providing Financial Support for the Site
Legendary Entertainment, a TV and film production company that has produced Godzilla, The Dark Knight and the Hangover, and Jackie Robinson biopic 42 is partnering with Jeter to provide content support and capital.
Thomas Tull, Legendary’s CEO, is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame board of directors and a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“I have had the privilege of knowing Derek for a number of years,” Tull said in a news release. “His idea of providing athletes with a platform to communicate directly with their fans and the world at large is a forum that we are excited about.”
3. Jeter Acknowledged He’s Been ‘Guarded’ Throughout His Career, but Said He’s Not a Robot
Jeter acknowledged what fans and sportswriters have been saying for 20 years: A big reason for his pristine image and off-the-charts popularity is that he’s avoided saying dumb or overly revealing things to the media.
From Jeter’s letter:
I realize I’ve been guarded. I learned early on in New York, the toughest media environment in sports, that just because a reporter asks you a question doesn’t mean you have to answer. I attribute much of my success in New York to my ability to understand and avoid unnecessary distractions.
I do think fans deserve more than “no comments” or “I don’t knows.”
I do think fans deserve more than “no comments” or “I don’t knows.” Those simple answers have always stemmed from a genuine concern that any statement, any opinion or detail, might be distorted. I have a unique perspective. Many of you saw me after that final home game, when the enormity of the moment hit me. I’m not a robot. Neither are the other athletes who at times might seem unapproachable. We all have emotions. We just need to be sure our thoughts will come across the way we intend.
4. The Site Already Has Facebook & Twitter Accounts
The site has a Twitter account, an Instagram account and Facebook page, both of which already have a substantial following. Within hours of the site’s launch, it had more than 3,000 Twitter followers and more than 7,000 Facebook fans, in addition to more than 500 Instagram followers.
You can also sign up for an email newsletter.
5. The Site Will Give Athletes ‘the Tools They Need to Share What They Really Think & Feel’
Jeter said he’s in the process of building a place where athletes have the “tools they need to share what they really think and feel.” “We want to have a way to connect directly with our fans, with no filter,” he wrote.