I stand with Carson King


by Tanner Krueger, Sports Editor

On Sept. 14, a small town guy named Carson King sprung into the spotlight after he attended “College Gameday,” a college football pregame show in Ames, IA.

King made a sign that read “Busch Light Supply Needs Replenished, Venmo Carson-King-25.” Getting your sign on “College Gameday” is a goal in itself. 

King had to feel on top of the world.

This was the first time that the show was held in Ames, and the Iowa vs. Iowa State game was the biggest game of the year. King felt that getting up close to the set would give him a good chance of getting on television. 

King began receiving huge amounts of money in his Venmo account. This is tempting for any college student to take the money and buy beer or maybe pay off some student loans. King went a different way, taking that money and donating it.  

King agreed to give the money to Iowa Children’s Hospital which was what gained traction around the nation. Alongside King, Anheuser-Busch and Venmo agreed to the deal where they matched King’s donation.

This was great seeing the two companies join in on this wonderful cause. 

With all the publicity King was getting, the Des Moines Register started to cover the story. Aaron Calvin, a breaking news reporter for the Register, was tasked with doing a profile on King. 

Needless to say, Calvin should have checked his Twitter before going after King. 

“Routine background checks” were done on King and some negative tweets were found. This had nothing to do with the donation of millions of dollars. To me, a reporter going back to 2011 on a kid who was 16-years-old at the time was a little out of the “routine.”

King made a great move in the public eye making a statement on the tweets. King stayed ahead of the outbreak by making a public statement about them.

At that time Anhesuer-Busch broke ties with King and this was a bad move. Keeping their word by matching the money amount was good, otherwise there would have been an outrage in Iowa. 

All along, this should have been about King giving the money back to the kids. These tweets were irrelevant to the story. 

The editor of the Register had a tough decision to make in this situation. In journalism, sometimes there is no right or wrong answer. There are a lot of grey areas. Having to include this information in the story is something that I wish would not have happened. 

The positive side of this story is in the end, Anheuser-Busch and Venmo kept their word after leaving King. Iowans rallied around King in response. They paid the money they promised to the Iowa Children’s Hospital and the story had a happy ending. 

Seeing both sides of the story in this scenario is key to understanding, but as an Iowan, having the matured King’s back is my stance.