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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Stories by Larry Brown:

John Buccigross, Matthew Berry named in latest ESPN article

John Buccigross

John Buccigross and Matthew Berry are two of the on-air personalities who were named in a Boston Globe article published on Thursday that targeted ESPN.

The article, which centers around a lawsuit filed by Adrienne Lawrence, accuses ESPN of continuing to harbor a workplace and environment that is hostile towards women. The article includes examples of women who felt harmed by pregnancies or maternity leaves.

In her lawsuit, which Lawrence plans to file in federal court, Lawrence claims longtime ESPN anchor Buccigross sent her unsolicited shirtless photographs of himself and spread rumors that they were in a relationship.

Here are the details, from the Boston Globe article:

Lawrence accused John Buccigross, a longtime SportsCenter anchor whom she viewed as a mentor, of sending unsolicited shirtless photographs of himself and calling her “dollface,” “#dreamgirl,” and “#longlegs” in messages from 2016 reviewed by the Globe. Lawrence said she tried to remain cordial in the messages but at one point responded: “You need to wear clothes, sir.”

When rumors spread that the two were in a relationship, Lawrence repeatedly complained to company officials and was advised by a supervisor to drop the matter, according to the complaint.

Lawrence said ESPN retaliated against her by reducing her on-air shifts and ultimately denying her a permanent position. The other fellow, a male, received a job offer. The Globe interviewed three former employees whom Lawrence had confided in at the time about her treatment and confirmed her account.

ESPN investigated the case and found Lawrence’s claims to be without merit. Buccigross admitted to sending the photos but denied spreading rumors about them.

Also as part of the article, the Boston Globe discussed allegations from Jenn Sterger, who says she experienced some sexual harassment during a months-long audition for a fantasy sports job with ESPN. She says Matthew Berry, who eventually got the job, took her to a strip club.

From the article:

During her months-long audition, Sterger said an executive showed her a copy of a Playboy magazine that she had modeled for and then she was taken to a strip club by Matthew Berry, who was interviewing as a contributor for The Fantasy Show.

Berry told the Globe he regretted the trip.

ESPN was accused in the article of being discriminatory against women who were pregnant or returned from maternity leave. There was a mention of Sara Walsh, who says she worked while suffering a miscarriage because of fear of losing her job.

ESPN responded by saying that any layoffs were due to industry changes, not discrimination against women/mothers.

Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor is second-highest PPV fight in history

Floyd Mayweather Conor McGregor

The pay-per-view numbers for the Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather Jr. boxing match have finally been released, and they’re pretty sizable.

Showtime announced on Thursday that the boxing match between McGregor and Mayweather in late August did 4.3 million pay-per-view buys in North America.

The large amount places the McGregor-Mayweather fight as the second-most purchased pay-per-view fight in history behind Mayweather’s 2015 fight with Manny Pacquiao, which did 4.6 million buys.

Mayweather has now been part of the four-most purchased pay-per-view fights in history, and the only two that did over 4 million. His 2007 fight with Oscar De La Hoya generated 2.4 million buys, and his 2013 fight with Canelo Alvarez did 2.2 million buys.

Diamondbacks reportedly may be willing to eat some of Zack Greinke’s salary

Zack Greinke

Maybe there is something to the Zack Greinke trade rumors.

Though reports of a potential deal to the Texas Rangers may be dead, one interesting thing to note is that Fan Rag Sports’ Jon Heyman says the Diamondbacks may be willing to eat some of the money owed to Greinke.

That report is in contrast to Heyman’s Fan Rag colleague Robert Murray, who said that the Diamondbacks weren’t looking to trade Greinke.

According to Heyman, four teams are interested in Greinke despite the money he is owed.

It’s surprising that the Diamondbacks would be willing to trade Greinke when they just reached the NLDS and seem to be in position to continue competing.

Joel Embiid destroys Karl-Anthony Towns on Instagram

Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid is a living legend. First he beats you on the court, then he snatches your soul on social media. Take what happened with him and Karl-Anthony Towns for instance.

Embiid’s 76ers beat Towns’ Timberwolves on Tuesday 118-112 in overtime. Embiid outplayed Towns as well, narrowly missing a triple-double with 28 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists in 39 minutes.

Embiid then posted a photo from the game on Instagram and trolled Towns in the process with a “cat” mention, which seems a reference to Towns, whose initials are KAT.

Towns commented on the photo on Instagram, saying Embiid’s caption was trash. Embiid came back by zinging Towns over his defense.

Towns and Embiid have gone at it before, with Towns trolling Joel over a video game rating. However, this takes things to a new level, and all scorecards have to award victory to Embiid.

Now you know exactly why the Warriors were motivated to beat Philly to avoid Embiid’s social media trash talk.

Cardinals trade Stephen Piscotty to Oakland to be closer to ailing mother

Cardinals logo

The St. Louis Cardinals worked on Wednesday to trade Stephen Piscotty closer to his home in the Bay Area to be near his ailing mother. According to a report, he is heading to the Oakland A’s.

Fan Rag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Wednesday evening that the A’s and Cardinals agreed on a trade that sends two prospects to the Cardinals for Piscotty.

Piscotty’s mother was diagnosed with ALS this year, and the Cardinals were trying to accommodate him by looking for a deal to send him to either the Giants or A’s. Here’s what Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told the Post Dispatch’s Derrick Goold about their intentions.

Piscotty is from Pleasanton, which is in the East Bay and close to Oakland, so they couldn’t have done a better job of trying to help him out.

The Cardinals acquired outfielder Marcell Ozuna in a trade with Miami earlier in the day, which enabled them to deal Piscotty.

Piscotty, 26, signed a six-year, $33.5 million extension with the Cardinals last April and is under team control through 2023.

Mike Leach shares his side of saga for released WR Tavares Martin

Mike Leach

Mike Leach is explaining his side of the story surrounding wide receiver Tavares Martin, who has been dismissed from the Washington State football program.

Martin, who was the Cougars’ leading receiver this season, was dismissed from the program, the school said on Sunday. Things took a twist after Martin said he was dismissed for asking for his release.

However, Leach tells a different story.

According to The Seattle Times’ Stefanie Loh, Leach cut Martin from the team on Nov. 28, well before word came out about his dismissal.

Martin had been suspended earlier in the season and was warned he was on his last strike. When he failed to show up to a team activity in late November, he was dismissed from the program.

In addition to Martin, wide receiver Isaiah Johnson-Mack is also leaving the program. The two were high school teammates in Florida.

Report: Diamondbacks not looking to trade Zack Greinke despite inquiries

Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke’s name has come up in trade rumors this week, but it doesn’t sound like there’s much to them.

On Tuesday, reports were saying that the Texas Rangers were interested in Greinke. Then it was reported that other teams like the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees were also interested in Greinke.

However, it sounds like the Arizona Diamondbacks are not interested in dealing their ace.

Fan Rag Sports’ Robert Murray says the Diamondbacks have quickly shut down talks and appear unlikely to deal Greinke unless they get some serious value in return.

The trade rumors never really made sense. The Diamondbacks would only be motivated to trade Greinke if they were looking to dump salary. But considering they reached the NLDS last season and maintain a strong core, it seems much more logical for them to keep trying to win rather than dump salary for prospects. They’re certainly not going to get better next season by getting rid of Greinke, who went 17-7 with a 3.20 ERA last season.

Greinke is owed $126.5 million over the next four seasons. The Diamondbacks would probably only consider a salary dump if their play drops off in the next few years. You can’t really blame teams for inquiring about him.

Austin Rivers to miss Clippers’ next game with concussion

Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers will miss the Los Angeles Clippers’ next game after suffering a concussion on Wednesday night against the Orlando Magic.

Rivers was elbowed in the side of the head by Jonathan Simmons just before halftime and left the game. The Clippers later announced he would not be returning to the game and that he was being tested. The team said after the game that he had suffered a concussion.

Rivers scored nine points in 18 minutes before leaving the game, which the Clippers won 106-95. He’s averaging 14.8 points, 3.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game this season, all career-high marks.

The Clippers are already without Blake Griffin and Patrick Beverley, though they did just get Milos Teodosic back, so they really can’t afford to lose more players.

The Clippers are at Washington on Friday, Miami on Saturday and San Antonio on Monday.

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