ESPN has apologized for a news report that covered the purported locker room showering habits of Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team.
The debate started Tuesday when Josina Anderson was asked on SportsCenter how Sam, who was picked by the St. Louis Rams in May, is fitting in with other members of his team, the New York Daily News reported.
After noting that one player told her that Sam is simply "one of the guys," Anderson began discussing speculation surrounding his shower habits in the team's locker room.
"Another Rams defensive player told me that, quote, 'Sam is respecting our space' and that from his perspective he seems to think that Michael Sam is waiting to kind of take a shower as not to make his teammates feel uncomfortable," she said.
Anderson then shared some of the reasons one player told her Sam might not be showering with other players.
Watch her controversial report below:
It didn't take long for critics to slam Anderson's report as inappropriate, especially considering that Sam's sexuality has taken center stage in his quest for a permanent placement on an NFL team.
Cyd Zeigler, a commentator who covers sports and sexuality, produced a video lambasting the ESPN report.
"It's disgusting to me that she — and frankly that ESPN would allow — this to happen, reporting on whether a gay athlete is showering with his teammates as though that was part of news," he said.
Watch Zeigler's statements on the matter:
ESPN apologized Wednesday morning for the "manner in which" the report was presented and said that its contents were not in line with network standards.
On Tuesday's Michael Sam report: "ESPN regrets the manner in which we presented our report. Clearly (cont) http://t.co/pqcezX45ii— Josh Krulewitz (@jksports) August 27, 2014
Josh Krulewitz, vice-president of communications for the sports network, tweeted, "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."
(H/T: Sherman Report)