TV reporters and journalists tend to create the headlines, not be the focus of them. When media members do make the front page it is never for a good reason.
ESPN reporter Josina Anderson found that out this week. Anderson put together a report this week centered around St Louis Rams defensive end Michael Sam. But rather than focus on how the NFL's first openly gay player is doing in training camp and his attempt to get a place on the Rams 53 man roster, Anderson thought that we all wanted to know about Sam's showering schedule in the locker room.
As you can well imagine, everybody in the known universe decided that this was the single worst piece of journalism in the history of the so-called "World Wide leader in Sports".
The Rams head coach Jeff Fisher voiced his frustration with the intrusive and downright disrespectful work as well as star Rams defender Chris Long who took to Twitter to chastise the broadcaster.
Anderson spoke with multiple Rams players about who Sam, the first openly gay active NFL player, had showered with and many felt the report was just plainly offensive and backwards.
ESPN released a statement on Wednesday apologizing for the report and now Anderson has released a statement of her own on ESPN Front Row.
"I wanted to take this opportunity to say I understand the vast and varying perspectives regarding our Michael Sam report. I’m particularly sensitive to those who feel the content therein worked to perpetuate stereotypes surrounding the LGBT community, or was just overall insensitive. In all humility, I truly understand these viewpoints and have taken time to reflect on how our story had this unintended consequence. To Michael Sam, I truly empathize with and respect your journey thus far on many different levels. Ultimately, I’ve always believed making a professional sports roster should and will come down to production.
In my role as reporter, it’s also important for me to emphasize that I highly value accuracy and in this case gathered facts using well-accepted journalistic standards. I can also appreciate that there are always lessons to be gained in any situation regardless of experience or tenure.
As I move on, I look forward to leading off ESPN’s regular-season NFL coverage next week and I appreciate their continued support."
As you may have noted, Anderson completely fails to apologise or say sorry in the slightest. This in itself is a disgrace. The temerity to not even apologize after obviously offending so many people is despicable and Anderson reeks of a person who would do it all again if asked.
I actually liked Anderson before all this. She was a very good journalist in my eyes across both football and the NBA. But this is simply too far.
One tweet above all takes the absolute biscuit however. Seth Markman, a senior producer for ESPN-NFL, has said there was no error with Anderson's report - despite ESPN apologizing, which signals that they consider the original report a credible story. Breath taking levels of arrogance and homophobia to go along with reporting that even TMZ wouldn't produce.
You have just witnessed the worst apology of all time.
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