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#pounditThursday, January 20, 2022

ESPN responds to sexual harassment allegations from Jenn Sterger

Jenn Sterger took to Twitter on Monday night to expose ESPN for its alleged hypocrisy in wanting to distance itself from the Barstool Sports brand, and in doing so she brought up some shocking sexual harassment allegations.

In a lengthy statement, Sterger said she was brought into ESPN headquarters on more than one occasion to test for several shows. The former New York Jets “Gameday Host” described how she was pressured by a coworker to go to a “club” that ended up being a strip club, where some of the company’s employees “teased me about how I was uncomfortable and didn’t want to participate.”

“The following day I was confronted by two of my bosses about whether or not I had been in attendance the previous night,” Sterger wrote. “I told them I had been, but didn’t want to be there once I realized what it was. They admonished me and said it was a bad look for the company for me to be there and to never do it again. I was fired before my plane landed in Tampa.”

The more disturbing allegations Sterger made were against an ESPN employee, whom she says is the same man who pressured her to go to the strip club. Sterger said the individual brought her to Bristol in 2008 to interview for a job opening, at which time she was “paraded” around the office and asked a series of “inappropriate” questions.

“When the ‘meeting’ was done I went to leave and found out (he) had cancelled my car home because (he) said (he was) ‘already going into the city so (he) would just take me,'” Sterger recalled. “It was a very long and uncomfortable car ride. He brought up numerous girls he said he was hooking up with that worked there at the time. And implied that he was helping their careers. … I reminded him I was in a relationship with someone he knew but he persisted.”

Sterger said the ESPN employee asked her to go to dinner but she declined and took a train home. She says the individual still works at ESPN and that she was later told he only brought her in for an interview to show his coworkers she is “just as f—able in person as I was in pictures.”

On Tuesday, ESPN issued a statement saying none of the incidents Sterger described were ever brought to the company’s attention.

Many people have pointed out that no such instances have ever been reported at Barstool, thus making it unfair for Sterger to compare her experience with anything that has gone on at the company. She later clarified that she only meant to highlight the “hypocrisy” at ESPN.

ESPN abruptly ended its relationship with Barstool this week after airing just one episode of “Barstool Van Talk.” Barstool founder Dave Portnoy said the decision to pull the plug on the show stemmed from a “mini-uprising” at ESPN, which likely had a lot to do with Sam Ponder’s social media attack on Barstool.

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