ESPN apologizes for Sam segment

Michael Sam (Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS — ESPN apologized on Wednesday morning for the SportsCenter report from Josina Anderson that discussed the showering habits of Rams rookie defensive end Michael Sam.

"ESPN regrets the manner in which we presented our report,” the statement said. “Clearly yesterday we collectively failed to meet the standards we have set in reporting on LGBT-related topics in sports."

Anderson’s live segment from Rams Park on Tuesday began innocently enough when SportsCenter anchor Jay Crawford asked Anderson about how Sam, the first openly gay player in the NFL, is fitting in with his Rams teammates so far.

Anderson quoted Rams defensive tackle Kendall Langford as saying that “Michael Sam is simply just one of the guys and he seems to be taking a rookie approach in terms of listening and learning at his own pace” and “you can tell he’s just trying to feel his way through and perhaps see what guys he can relate to.”

But then Anderson went on to quote an unnamed Rams defensive player who said “Sam is respecting our space and that from his perspective he seems that Michael Sam is waiting to kind of take a shower and not to make his teammates feel uncomfortable.”

Anderson then continued by adding that Langford and linebacker Alec Ogletree told her they didn’t know that specifically and weren’t tracking that along with more quotes from Langford.

It was not the finest moment for ESPN or for Anderson.

Perhaps the only good thing to come from the situation was the following tweet from Rams defensive end Chris Long, who put the issue into its proper context.

You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at natelatsch@gmail.com

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