Tags: ESPN | gay | NFL | shower

ESPN Under Fire for Reporting Gay NFL Player's Shower Habits

Image: ESPN Under Fire for Reporting Gay NFL Player's Shower Habits Michael Sam of the St. Louis Rams reacts after sacking Johnny Manziel of the Cleveland Browns during NFL preseason action on Aug. 23 in Cleveland. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

By Elliot Jager   |   Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 07:54 AM

ESPN reporter Josina Anderson came in for social media criticism for drawing attention to the showering schedule of Michael Sam, the NFL's first openly gay player,  according to a New York Post compilation of wire stories.

Sam survived the first round of cuts to stay on the team's 75-man roster, ESPN reported.

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Anderson reported that teammates were relating to Sam as just one of the guys and that he is listening and learning at his own pace. An unnamed Rams player told Anderson that "Sam is respecting our space" and "waiting to take a shower as not to make his teammates feel uncomfortable."

Other teammates told her they were not paying attention to Sam's showering routine and that there could be innumerable reasons why the linebacker might be delaying his showering such as taking extra practice.

Veteran defensive end Chris Long tweeted: "Dear ESPN, Everyone but you is over it."

ESPN issued a statement saying: "In response to recent questions about Sam fitting in with the team, multiple Rams brought up the shower topic and we relayed that information as part of our reporting," according to the Post's compilation of stories.

An ESPN source told Talking Points Memo that the sports network's reporting was responsible.

"We did not sensationalize the reporting. It was the last part of a news segment — not the headline or lead item in the report. … The player who answered our reporter's question directly brought it up on his own — she asked how Michael Sam is fitting in," according to the source. "She did not ask a shower question. … Michael Sam wasn't made available today for comment, so we didn't have something directly from him on this."

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The source was not identified by Talking Points Memo.

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