ESPN 'regrets' bizarre report on gay NFL player

Last updated 11:02 28/08/2014
Michael Sam
Reuters
PRO FOOTBALLER: Michael Sam is the first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team.

Relevant offers

Other Sports

NFL star sprains ankle chasing peeing puppy MLB playoffs race to World Series wide open Violence incidents not hurting NFL's TV ratings NFL: Oakland Raiders fire coach Dennis Allen Jonathan Dwyer charged over domestic abuse Fresh findings in 2012 NFL murder-suicide case Regional rivals could decide World Series winner Peter Burling takes helm of Team New Zealand Quiz: Sports knowledge test - September 30 Roulston to get back on track for Rio Games

Sports television network ESPN said on Wednesday (Thursday NZ time) it regrets a report that detailed the showering habits of St. Louis Rams defensive end Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted in the NFL.

The Walt Disney Co-owned network received criticism this week after reporter Josina Anderson quoted an anonymous Rams player saying that Sam waited to take showers ''as not to make his teammates feel uncomfortable.''

''ESPN regrets the manner in which we presented our report,'' the company said in a statement.

''Clearly yesterday we collectively failed to meet the standards we have set in reporting on LGBT-related topics in sports.''

Anderson had been asked how Sam was fitting in with his teammates.

Sam's supporters have said that his sexuality is irrelevant to his performance and have dismissed suggestions that an openly gay player would be a distraction for an NFL team.

Teammate and fellow defensive end Chris Long also criticised the network for the report.

''Dear ESPN, Everyone but you is over it,'' he wrote on Twitter.

Sam was drafted in the seventh round of this year's NFL Draft three months after coming out publicly.

He has kept a low profile as he seeks to make the Rams final roster ahead of the team's first game on September 8.

In May, Sam pulled out of an announced reality program on Oprah Winfrey's OWN network that would have chronicled his attempt to make the team.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who would you most like to come to your aid after a road accident?

Mike Tyson - boxing

Lewis Hamilton - motorsport

Maria Sharapova - tennis

Valerie Adams - shot put

The Undertaker - WWE

Lindsey Vonn - skiing

Ana Ivanovic - tennis

Steven Adams - basketball

Rory McIlroy - golf

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content