It is our duty as North Carolina’s leading source for sports news and weather to bring our loyal viewers the absolute best in content. From our website, to social media, and to our bread-and-butter, our award-winning broadcasting network, we come to work every single day committed to this duty. As SportsChannel8’s General Manager and News Director, it’s my job to ensure that the reporting of our news is consistent with our core values as an organization, but also as citizens of this great state of North Carolina. Though I’m the one writing this open letter to our viewership, I assure you that every single member of our staff shares the same strong stance against the ongoing use of the hashtag, #goacc.
To be clear, we bear no ill will towards its originator, Martin Rickman. Martin is a close friend to our network, and even if he’d never penned a single one of the millions of brilliant words he’s written about sports, he would be one of our favorite people on the planet. In fact, a major factor in our network’s decision to ban this hashtag from our vocabulary is that Martin earned the right to find amusement in the struggles of the ACC because of his extensive charity work and ferocious activism attempting to end the plight of the ACC as evidenced by the generous giving of his time and energy to voluntarily write about Wake Forest athletics during his college years. This hashtag has become a battle-cry of the lazy and uniformed, which is the opposite of what Martin stands for as a journalist and as a human being.
The profession looks at SportsChannel8 to lead, and we do not take that responsibility lightly. We have banned the use of the hashtag on all social media posts, all web content, all on-air broadcasts, and even around the office. We call on all of our peers and contemporaries to do the same.
Our message to those outside of ACC country is clear … do mistake our conference’s ability to avoid taking ourselves too seriously for weakness. We are no different than you, other conferences, we just have a better sense of humor. This hashtag that began as something funny to unite ACC fans has morphed into a slur used by outsiders, and insiders now feel shamed into using the hashtag to tone down our pride in the teams we cover.
At SportsChannel8, we love the teams we cover, and we love the fans we serve. At our core, we understand that’s what makes us great. Let’s all be great.