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ESPN apologizes for discussing Michael Sam’s showering habits
ESPN has apologized for a SportsCenter report centering on the showering habits of Michael Sam, the first openly gay player in the National Football League.
The controversial report was aired on Tuesday, when instead of focusing on the St. Louis Rams’ first round of cuts, reporter Josina Anderson chose to feature Sam’s shower etiquette.
‘Another Rams defensive player told me that “Sam is respecting our space” and that, from his perspective, he seems to think that Michael Sam is kind of waiting to take a shower, as not to make his teammates feel uncomfortable,’ Anderson said.
The reporter says she also asked other players about Sam’s showering schedule.
ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz wrote in a statement that the network ‘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,’ he added.
Sam and the St. Louis Rams made history in May when the team made him the first openly-gay player ever drafted by an NFL team.
The highly decorated defensive end was drafted in the seventh round, 249th overall, and famously kissed boyfriend Vito Cammisano after smashing cake in his face on national television.
Sam was named as both an All-American and the SEC Defensive player of the year after a stellar senior campaign last season for the University of Missouri.
He saw his draft stock plummet after a poor showing at the scouting combine earlier this year.
Sam was shown on television crying as he received the phone call notifying him he would indeed be an NFL player, he then kissed Cammisano before they hugged and cried tears of joy.
Rams coach Jeff Fisher acknowledged there would be added media attention surrounding Sam’s arrival at training camp but said ‘we’re not going to let any kind of distraction affect this football team.’
Perhaps predicting Tuesday’s turn of events, Sam told reporters: ‘Hey, are there going to be idiots out there and say some stupid stuff? Yeah. I’m not worried about that.’