ESPN has released a statement saying it regrets a “SportsCenter” report that aired on Tuesday afternoon from the St. Louis Rams training camp that discussed the showering habits of Michael Sam and whether he was avoiding the shower when teammates were present.The report by Josina Anderson included speculation by one unnamed defensive player that Sam was “respecting” the space of teammates and “waiting to kind of take a shower as to not make his teammates feel uncomfortable.”
Two other Rams defensive players asked by ESPN about the showers said they had not noticed that and “weren’t tracking that.”
Teammate Chris Long appeared to be critical of ESPN for the report, suggesting that Sam’s sexuality was a non-issue on the team.
Dear ESPN,Everyone but you is over it.
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) August 26, 2014
ESPN initially defended the report, saying it was just relaying information brought up by the players.
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.
However, the report seems to make it clear that only one player speculated about the shower and ESPN then brought it up to other players.
On Wednesday, ESPN issued a second statement saying it regretted how the report was presented.
ESPN regrets the manner in which we presented our report. Clearly on Tuesday we collectively failed to meet the standards we have set in reporting on LGBT-related topics in sports.
Here is the original report. The topic of the showers comes up at the 0:40 mark.
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