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Thursday, December 13, 2018

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.

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