ESPN apologizes for report on Michael Sam’s showering habits
ESPN has issued an apology for an on-air report during "SportsCenter" on Tuesday that concluded with reporter Josina Anderson discussing Rams linebacker Michael Sam’s showering habits.
"ESPN regrets the manner in which we presented our report," Josh Krulewitz said in a statement on behalf of the network. "Clearly yesterday we collectively failed to meet the standards we have set in reporting on LGBT-related topics in sports."
ESPN Senior VP of SportsCenter and News Rob King also tweeted, "Josina Anderson is a trusted professional and a valued member of our team. What took place yesterday was a collective failure to meet our standards and we will all be better going forward."
Anderson discussed several issues concering the Rams, including quarterback Sam Bradford’s season-ending ACL injury, before delving into how Sam, the first openly gay player in NFL history, was "fitting in with Rams teammates." Said Anderson:
Anderson added that two other players she spoke with said that they didn’t know whether Sam was indeed waiting to shower and "weren’t tracking that."
"I’m extremely disappointed in her piece," Rams head coach Jeff Fisher told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Wednesday. "I think it’s unethical. I think it’s very, very unprofessional. Not only the piece itself, the content. The manner in which she did it."
To the last point, Fisher explained that Anderson contacted the players during their personal time concerning Sam, not at the Rams practice facility.
"I’m disappointed for Mike," Fisher added. "I’m disappointed for the players who she put in this position, and mostly I’m disappointed for her because she felt what she was doing was right — and it wasn’t right."
Tuesday afternoon, Veteran Rams defensive end Chris Long responded to the report on his personal Twitter account:
The Rams selected Sam, the 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year from Missouri, in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Dear ESPN, Everyone but you is over it.
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) August 26, 2014
During Saturday’s preseason contest between the Rams and Browns, Sam twice sacked much-hyped Cleveland rookie QB Johnny Manziel.