• Mon, Feb 17 - 1:07 pm ET

Here’s What You Need To Know About The Controversial Bode Miller Interview Everyone’s Talking About

Bode Miller bronze medal Sochi Olympics 2014

You might have noticed that the Internet is quite abuzz this morning about U.S. skier Bode Miller, who tied for the bronze medal in the men’s super-G at the Sochi Olympics yesterday, becoming the oldest athlete (at 36) to medal in alpine skiing. Most people aren’t talking about his Olympic accomplishment, although that’s certainly praiseworthy. The chatter is mostly about NBC’s post-competition interview with him, conducted by Christin Cooper, a former alpine skier and reporter. If you haven’t been following the Olympics closely, you might be wondering what all the controversy is about, so here’s what happened.

Bode Miller’s snowboarder brother Chelone Miller passed away last year at age 29 of a seizure. NBC has brought up Miller’s emotional story before in their coverage of the games, including in an interview with Tom Brokaw this weekend. A lot of people are arguing, however, that Cooper’s prodding about his brother’s death just after his win went too far, especially considering Miller was in tears throughout the interview.

The best thing you can do before forming an opinion about the interview is to simply watch it unfold below.

To be fair, Miller is the one who brought up his brother’s death, so Cooper understandably asked a follow-up question about it. However, many are arguing that she should have stopped prodding him once she saw that he was in tears. There’s no denying it’s upsetting to watch Miller break down and walk away, especially since he just won a medal and should ideally be spending the interview talking about his achievements as an athlete. But people love emotional stories, and it’s a reporter’s job to pick at them.

The Internet has been quick to defend Miller and condemn Cooper, but Miller has taken to Twitter to defend her, posting the following early this morning:

Miller also appeared on Today this morning and repeated his defense of Cooper’s interview. If you ask me, I think the fact that Miller mentioned his brother’s death opened the door for it to be discussed, but Cooper could have certainly handled things better once it was clear the subject made Miller so emotional. It definitely raises a lot of questions about how we report on sports and whether there should be so much focus on personal stories over athletic accomplishments.

(Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

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  • JPen

    Isn’t this the guy with the strange custody battle too? I have so many mixed emotions right now!