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ESPN admits to paraphrasing text messages between Ray Rice and Steve Bisciotti

Ray Rice RavensWhen ESPN’s Outside the Lines released its bombshell report that exposed the Baltimore Ravens for allegedly covering up the Ray Rice elevator video, one of the most interesting chunks of information involved some text messages that team owner Steve Bisciotti sent to Rice after releasing him. The general idea of Bisciotti’s offer to Rice was captured in the OTL report, but was the way the World Wide Leader delivered the information irresponsibly inaccurate?

When you look at the way Bisciotti’s texts were included in the OTL report, the only reasonable assumption is that they were directly quoted.

Ray-Rice-Steve-Bisciotti-texts

Almost anyone who read that part of the report would assume the italicized words implied a direct quote from the texts. However, the Ravens later released the exact text message exchange that Bisciotti had with Rice in a statement addressing the OTL report. ESPN acknowledged on Tuesday night that it could have been more clear with the presentation of the messages.

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Brandon Marshall accuses ESPN of lying to him about E:60 profile

Brandon-Marshall-BearsESPN aired its latest “E:60″ feature on Tuesday night with Brandon Marshall as the subject, and the Chicago Bears wide receiver is not pleased with the way the segment turned out. According to Marshall, ESPN and reporter Lisa Salters misled him about the angle they were going to take with the profile.

“E:60 is running a piece on me tonight that they lied to me about,” Marshall wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “It was suppose to be a story on a camp. They followed me around 2 years ago and at the end put a camera in my face to talk about it and asked nothing [about] the camp or the community weekend.

“I’m disappointed that ESPN and Lisa Salters continue to try and tell my story in ESPN’s words. Better yet I’m pissed off – beyond disappointed. This is the second time ESPN did this. I trust ESPN to tell my story & they lied to me once again to get my interview. Media exploits & tells thier own stories. Disappoints again. Well I guess I probably should use my coping skills now. Thanks ESPN.”

We haven’t had a chance to watch the full feature, but our friend Michael David Smith from Pro Football Talk felt the profile should leave most people with a more favorable opinion of Marshall than they had before. Marshall has a history of alleged domestic violence, and ESPN had to acknowledge that. But according to Smith, the feature painted the 30-year-old as someone who sought help and has turned his life around.

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ESPN.com is launching a makeover

New-ESPN

Many of you sports junkies are going to be in for a surprise in the near future when you visit the World Wide Leader’s world wide web page. ESPN.com will soon be launching its first redesign in over five years, with an aim toward making the website more mobile-friendly and responsive.

As you can see from the image above that Mashable passed along, ESPN’s new site features a white background that makes graphics pop more than the old red backdrop and border. You can see a comparison between the new (left) and old (right) designs below.

ESPN-new-vs-old

Ryan Spoon, ESPN’s senior vice president of digital product management, told Mashable that one of the goals with the new makeover is to provide a similar look over multiple devices and screen sizes while also making ESPN’s main web page look more like its apps.

“We aimed to create a cohesive aesthetic and experience across the new ESPN.com and our native applications like SportsCenter and Fantasy Football,” Spoon said. “Over time, you will hopefully notice that our site and our applications feel connected and familiar.”

Here’s a comparison between the new (left) and old (right) mobile layouts.

ESPN-mobile-new-old

Most users don’t like change, but I think this is a good one for ESPN.com. The new site looks a lot cleaner.

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.

Chris Long: Everyone but ESPN is over Michael Sam being gay

Michael-Sam-boyfriendESPN featured some phenomenal investigative reporting on Tuesday when the network passed along some of the details of Michael Sam’s showering routine. For those of you who are a little slow, I’m being sarcastic. We have no idea why the World Wide Leader told us that Sam has not yet showered with certain teammates, and neither does Rams defensive end Chris Long.

A few hours after Josina Anderson went on the air and spoke about Sam’s showering habits, Long tweeted the following.

That’s how a lot of people feel. The first ever openly gay player in the NFL fighting for a roster spot is a huge story — we get that. It took guts for Sam to come out before the NFL Draft. But don’t we have enough headlines about him — such as Sam sacking Johnny Manziel and flashing the money symbol — that we don’t need to get into when and with whom he supposedly takes a shower?

Again, this seems like the type of stuff ESPN does that inspired their own Neil Everett to take a shot at the network last week.

H/T Jimmy Traina

ESPN screws up big time with Kevin Ward Jr. funeral tweet

ESPN sent an extremely unfortunate tweet from their NASCAR account on Thursday afternoon. Funeral services for the late Kevin Ward Jr. were held on Thursday in upstate New York, where more than 700 mourners flooded South Lewis Senior High School to pay their respects. Here is the tweet NASCAR on ESPN sent and quickly deleted, courtesy of Deadspin:

ESPN-Kevin-Ward-Jr-tweet

We’re all human and we all make mistakes, but that is a pretty drastic one. A typo with the name would be bad enough given the sensitive nature of the subject, but the photo of Stewart made it really brutal. Realizing that plenty of people had seen the tweet, ESPN later issued an apology:

Again, everyone makes mistakes. Some are just more cringe-worthy than others.

Yankees fan Andrew Robert Rector suing ESPN for showing him sleeping on TV

Andrew-Robert-RectorA New York Yankees fan who fell asleep during a game at Yankee Stadium earlier this year has filed a $10 million lawsuit against ESPN. According to the New York Post, Andrew Robert Rector specifically named ESPN anchors John Kruk and Dan Shulman in the lawsuit and has accused them of taunting him.

Rector alleges that Kruk and Shulman spewed an “avalanche of disparaging words” against him and insulted him with words like “stupor, fatty, unintelligent and stupid.” The video above shows Kruk and Shulman mocking Rector, but none of those words were said in that particular clip.

Rector, who admits that he “briefly” fell asleep during the game between the Yankees and Boston Red Sox on April 13, said the play-by-play team taunted him knowing that millions of viewers were tuning in. He claims Kruk and Shulman made “false statements” against him and suggested he “is a fatty cow that need two seats at a time” and “is a confused individual that neither understands nor knows anything about history and the meaning of rivalry between Red Sox and New York Yankee.” Yes, the typos come directly from the lawsuit.

The suit names ESPN, MLB and the Yankees as defendants. The entire complaint can be read at The Smoking Gun.

In all likelihood, Rector’s lawsuit will be dismissed. Just a gut feeling.

H/T Sporting News