Does the former New York Yankees captain and likely Hall of Fame shoo-in — whose 20-year baseball playing career ended on Sunday — want to become a media mogul? If so, then this is his lead-off hit: Derek Jeter is the Founding Publisher of a Web site, The Players’ Tribune, that promises this morning to provide athletes with the tools to “share their unfiltered, honest and unique perspectives, bringing fans closer to the games they love.” Legendary Entertainment will provide cash and “creative support.” And former ESPN Publishing Editorial Director Gary Hoenig will have the same title at the new endeavor .
“I do think fans deserve more than ‘no comments’ or ‘I don’t knows,’” Jeter says this morning on the site. “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. We want to have a way to connect directly with our fans, with no filter.”
Legendary CEO Thomas Tull is a natural partner: He’s a board member at The Baseball Hall of Fame, and his company produced the 2013 biographical film about Jackie Robinson, 42. He’s also a member of the ownership group of the Pittsburgh Steelers. “I have had the privilege of knowing Derek for a number of years,” he says. “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.”
The founders say that The Players’ Tribune will become “The Voice of the Game” by helping athletes in every sport to write features, and produce videos, podcasts, photo galleries and polls. They also can delve into lifestyle and pop culture commentary. “The Players’ Tribune will provide an authentic and holistic perspective from the athletes themselves,” it says in a release.