Written by Tatyana Jenene @TatyanaJenene
Football season is approaching and ESPN is full of preseason coverage. We all know that Michael Sam is the first openly gay player in the NFL, he was the 249th pick in this year Draft. While the story should be will Michaela Sam make the St. Louis Rams’ final roster, ESPN can’t really get over the fact that he’s a gay man working in the sport.
For some odd reason someone in the ESPN newsroom thought it would be a good idea to do a segment on Sam’s adjustment to St. Louis Rams. Josina Anderson reported from Earth City, Mo where the Rams are having training camp, before discussing Sam, she talked about various St. Louis Rams’ story and then went on to talk about how Sam is adjusting to the team. One of his teammates, Kendall Langford, said that Sam is “just one of the guys.”
For whatever reason after that Anderson decided to quote an “unnamed” Rams player discussing the same topic:
“Another Rams defensive player told me that ‘Sam is respecting our space’ and that, from his perspective, he seemed to think that Michael Sam is kind of waiting to take a shower, as not to make his teammates uncomfortable.”
Anderson shared other team memebers’ answer to her irrelevant question. Both Kendall Langford and Alec Ogletree informed the ESPN reporter they weren’t exactly tracking his shower habits.
AS. THEY. SHOULDN’T.
After backlash from sports fans and players alike (especially from Sam’s teammate Chris Long, he sent out a tweet saying Dear ESPN, Everyone but you is over it.) ESPN issued an apology for the segment in the following statement:
ESPN regrets the manner in which we presented our report…Clearly yesterday we collectively failed to meet the standards we have set in reporting on LGBT-related topics in sports.