Deadspin’s Josh Koblin just published a long article about the 2009 affair between ex-ESPN baseball analyst Steve Phillips and ex-ESPN production assistant Brooke Hundley.
There are dirty text messages, stories about oral sex in Target parking lots, and more.
One of the most interesting parts of it is an alleged quote from ESPN production coordinator Joya Caskey about the sex culture at the company before the Phillips affair blew up.
In a court deposition, Hundley said that she talked to Caskey immediately after her first kiss with Phillips in 2009.
Caskey told her, according to Hundley’s account, “Get used to it, kid. If I had a dollar for every time I was sexually harassed at ESPN, I would be a millionaire.”
Both Caskey and an ESPN HR representative remembered the quote differently.
Caskey said in a meeting with ESPN HR that the she told Hundley, “This is television. That’s what happens. It goes with the industry.”
The ESPN HR rep said in a deposition that Caskey told her the quote was, “Get used to it. This is the culture of ESPN.”
Regardless of what the exact quote was, the point is that the environment at ESPN in 2009 was tolerant of the sort of affair that Phillips and Hundley had.
By all accounts, that environment has shifted dramatically since the last four years as a direct result of the affair. The company now has a zero-tolerance policy on sexual conduct.
Andrew Miller, the author of These Guys Have All The Fun, told Koblin, “Phillips/Hundley didn’t have a chilling effect on the ESPN culture,” Miller said. “It created an ice age.”
ESPN gave Deadspin this statement about the alleged Caskey quote:
“Those comments do not accurately reflect the ESPN culture or the company’s continued commitment to employees. We acted forcefully then and continue to be diligent about maintaining the most comfortable work environment for all.”
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