After 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.
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.