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Jeff Fisher rips Josina Anderson for Michael Sam shower report

Jeff Fisher Rams

Jeff Fisher is the latest person to criticize Josina Anderson for her report Tuesday that included information on Michael Sam’s showering habits with the St. Louis Rams.

Though ESPN apologized for the “manner in which” they presented the report, Fisher still had harsh words for Anderson.

“I’m extremely disappointed in her piece,” 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.”

Fisher went on to say that Anderson was “out of line” for contacting Rams players outside the facility to put together her report.

“She was out of line because she went and contacted several players on their personal time. Misled them with questions and then put this piece together.”

I won’t get on Anderson for doing that. Part of being a good reporter is developing relationships with players so they feel comfortable giving you information. She obviously was successful at accomplishing that. Her report provided some information many felt was pertinent to the situation, but the manner in which it was reported was terrible.

Seahawks violations reportedly stemmed from Richard Sherman practice fight

Richard-Sherman-practice-fightThe Seattle Seahawks and coach Pete Carroll were fined a total of $300,000 by the NFL on Tuesday and forced to give up two minicamp practices in 2015. The punishment stemmed from a violation of the no-contact rules that are in place for certain offseason workouts. The question now is how the Seahawks got caught.

Remember the fight that broke out involving Richard Sherman during Seattle’s practice back in June? Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that the NFLPA began investigating after TV footage showed the altercation. The NFLPA asked the Seahawks to turn over all video of their offseason practices for review.

The fight that Sherman was at the center of started when wide receiver Bryan Walters made a diving catch on the sideline and injured his shoulder. Several offensive players felt that safety Earl Thomas made too much contact with Walters and caused him to lose his balance.

The NFLPA concluded that the practice where the fight broke out was “way too aggressive” and that coaches were “coaching contact.” After reviewing the footage, the league apparently agreed and handed out the punishment.

I’m sure Carroll and the Seahawks aren’t the only ones doing this, but the situation is a reminder that someone is always watching with the technology we have available these days. Even a seemingly minor dust-up can lead to much larger problems.

Josh Gordon appeal denied, one-year suspension upheld

Josh GordonCleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has been suspended for the entire 2014 season. The suspension ruling was officially upheld on Wednesday after a long appeal process.

“I’d like to apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Cleveland Browns organization and our fans,” Gordon said in a statement. “I am very disappointed that the NFL and its hearing office didn’t exercise better discretion and judgment in my case. I would like to sincerely thank the people who have been incredibly supportive of me during this challenging time, including my family, my agent, my union, my legal team, and the Cleveland Browns staff.”

Gordon had maintained that he failed his most recent drug test because of second-hand marijuana smoke. His attorneys also argued that a significant flaw in the NFL’s testing process resulted in Gordon testing positive. That argument is broken down in more detail here.

Gordon was suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season after testing positive for using codeine syrup as a recreational drug. He was then placed in the NFL’s Stage III drug program and has since had to pass 10 drug tests per month. The 23-year-old was also arrested for driving while under the influence in July, two months after his failed marijuana test.

ESPN (sort of) apologizes for Michael Sam shower report

Michael Sam RamsAfter initially defending its report about Michael Sam’s shower habits in the St. Louis Rams locker room, ESPN finally received enough pressure from the masses to issue a half-hearted apology on Wednesday.

“ESPN regrets the manner in which we presented our report,” the network said in a statement. “Clearly yesterday we collectively failed to meet the standards we have set in reporting on LGBT-related topics in sports.”

For those who missed it, Josina Anderson discussed how Sam is fitting in with his teammates by passing along information she got from players about when and with whom Sam has been taking his showers. One Rams defender supposedly said Sam is “respecting our space” while two others said they weren’t keeping track of when the former Missouri star cleans himself. Shocking, I know.

[WATCH: ESPN shares report about Michael Sam's showering habits]

Rams defensive end Chris Long later sent a tweet directed toward ESPN, basically saying Sam’s sexual preference is no longer a topic of interest for anyone but the World Wide Leader. ESPN initially defended Anderson’s reporting on Tuesday.

“In response to recent questions about Sam fitting in with the team, multiple Rams brought up the shower topic and we relayed that information as part of our reporting,” the network said, via Shutdown Corner.

We get that Anderson was just passing along information, but it didn’t seem like there was enough there to constitute a news story. To me, the report represented an uncomfortable invasion of privacy.

Report: Patriots players pissed about Logan Mankins trade

Logan-Mankins-Torn-ACL-Super-BowlThe New England Patriots’ decision to trade All-Pro offensive guard Logan Mankins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Tuesday came as a shock to most, even his former teammates. Players are well aware that the NFL is a business, but that doesn’t mean they’re immune to disappointment.

On the surface, most of the Patriots players said all the right things. Julian Edelman said he trusts Bill Belichick to do what’s best for the team. Devin McCourty said the team simply has to “move on.” But according to Ben Volin of The Boston Globe, there was no mistaking the mood in the locker room.

But to say that Mankins’s teammates were shocked Tuesday is an understatement of Belichickian proportion. They openly discussed in the locker room how surprised they were by the move, and Darrelle Revis acknowledged that “the atmosphere was a little down” at practice.

A league source connected to several Patriots players used a “p” word that rhymes with “missed” to describe the mood in the locker room Tuesday. Many players still felt that Mankins was the best lineman on the team, the source said.

There’s a difference between being “pissed” and being disappointed. Disappointment would mean the players are sad to lose a team leader, great player and good friend. The fact that Volin says they were pissed would seem to indicate not everyone feels Belichick made the right decision.

Mankins was reportedly traded because he refused to take a pay cut. The Patriots have never been afraid to make an unpopular decision if it helps their financial situation, and there’s a good chance they are looking to free up a large chunk of salary cap space to sign Darrelle Revis to a long-term contract.

Could they have waited until after the season? For financial reasons, yes. But Belichick must have some young linemen he is confident in that he wants to start developing now. Either that, or he loves the attention he gets for being an evil genius. The Patriots fan in me leans toward the latter.

Logan Mankins traded after refusing to take pay cut

Logan MankinsLogan Mankins was traded by the New England Patriots to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tuesday in exchange for tight end Tim Wright and a fourth-round pick.

Considering the season is so close to starting and the Patriots are Super Bowl contenders, many have wondered what motivated them to deal the six-time Pro Bowler. Apparently it was a money issue.

NFL reporter Jason Cole says Mankins refused to take a pay cut from the $6.25 million he was set to earn this season. Cole says the Pats first approached Mankins about taking a pay cut after the Pro Bowl and then again before they ultimately traded him.

The trade may weaken the Patriots up front in the immediate future, though they believe they have enough interior linemen to shuffle things and be fine. Plus they’re getting a promising tight end — Wright caught 54 passes for 571 yards and 5 touchdowns as a rookie last season — a fourth-round pick, and some cap relief, which Del surmised could be used to sign Darrelle Revis long term. You know how much they love to run double tight end sets, so maybe they figure they’ll be able to do that with Wright and Rob Gronkowski.

Mankins is due $6.75 million each of the next two seasons after signing a 6-year, $51 million deal prior to the 2011 season.

Chargers announcer Hank Bauer suspended for Jewish joke (Audio)

San Diego Chargers radio color commentator Hank Bauer was suspended from broadcasting the team’s final preseason game on Thursday after telling an anti-Semitic joke at the end of Sunday’s broadcast.

In the closing seconds of Sunday’s Chargers-49ers preseason game, Bauer, broadcasting on 105.3 KIOZ, cracked a Jewish joke about how copper was invented (drop a penny between two Jewish people).

“But then again you know how copper wire was invented? Somebody dropped a penny between Josh and his family member,” said Bauer. “I say that respectfully and endearingly, my partner.”

The joke was aimed at play-by-play voice Josh Lewin, a Jewish announcer, who commented about the crowd leaving early and said he would have stayed the whole game if he were a paying customer.

Hank Bauer Chargers

Bauer made the following apology on Twitter Tuesday:

The Chargers issued a statement in response and said it was Clear Channel, the broadcasting company, that decided to suspend Bauer for the game.

“Although we know Hank had no ill-will behind his remarks, we agree the comments were inappropriate. Per Clear Channel’s decision, Hank will not be broadcasting Thursday night’s game,” the statement said. “Hank has been a strong radio voice for the Chargers for the past 16 years and a passionate supporter of the team since his playing days. We look forward to Chargers fans receiving the same high-quality broadcast from Josh (Lewin) and Hank when he returns to the booth for the regular season.”