ESPN Reports on Michael Sam's Showering Habits at Rams Training Camp

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2014

via YouTube

All reports out of St. Louis seem to show Rams defensive end Michael Sam has been a good fit in the locker room so far while he tries to become the first active gay player in NFL history.

Now that final roster cuts are quickly approaching, Sam will be under even more intense scrutiny moving forward.

On Tuesday, ESPN's Josina Anderson gave a report from Rams training camp. One of the subject matters: Sam's showering habits.

Update: Aug. 27 at 3:30 p.m. ET

Outside of Chris Long's tweet on Tuesday afternoon, the St. Louis Rams had been relatively quiet on ESPN's report. That silence came to an end on Wednesday morning.

Shortly before he and the team took a plane to Miami for Thursday's preseason finale, Rams coach Jeff Fisher discussed the matter in a very professional manner and gave his thoughts on the situation. 

The coach wasn't too thrilled with the reporter, but he did appreciate that the network had apologized to the team.

Here's what Fisher had to say about Josina Anderson's report, via The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jim Thomas:

I'm extremely disappointed in her piece.

I think it's unethical. I think it's very, very unprofessional. Not only the piece itself, the content. The manner in which she did it.


We appreciate [ESPN president] John Skipper reaching out to us and apologizing, and their willingness to communicate and work through this with us.


Obviously she came in, in all likelihood to see if there was gonna be a roster move at the 75 cutdown as it relates to Mike Sam. That didn't happen. But she needed to do something, and it's my understanding that she manufactured this story.

She was out of line because she went and contacted several players on their personal time. Misled them with questions and then put this piece together.

I'm disappointed for Mike. I'm disappointed for the players who she put in this position, and mostly I'm disappointed for her because she felt what she was doing was right and it wasn't right.

--End of Update--

Update: Aug. 27 at 10 a.m. ET

ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz released a statement on behalf of the network, apologizing for the report: "ESPN 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."

--End of Update--

Update: Aug. 26 at 3:20 p.m. ET

St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long has responded to ESPN's report regarding Michael Sam's showering habits.

[Chris Long]

--End of Update--

Anderson said an unnamed defensive player claimed Sam was waiting to take a shower "as to not make his teammates feel uncomfortable," which the player found as a way of "respecting our space."

Anderson said Rams defenders Kendall Langford and Alec Ogletree told her that they hadn't noticed and weren’t tracking his showering habits.

[Cork Gaines]