(CBS) On Tuesday, ESPN on-air reporter Josina Anderson issued a report that puzzlingly addressed the showering habits of Rams defensive end Michael Sam, the NFL’s first openly gay player. It received a great deal of blowback and criticism on a national scope in the hours after it ran.
A day later, Rams coach Jeff Fisher joined in the conversation in expressing his displeasure over what he — and a large majority — viewed as a non-essential and unprofessional topic to report on.
“I’m extremely disappointed in her piece,” Fisher told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“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.”
Fisher was also mad because he thought Anderson contacted players outside the designated interview times.
“We have a media policy, and we’re very flexible,” Fisher said, according to the Post-Dispatch. “We have open practices. Players are available. We have open locker rooms.
“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.”
ESPN apologized for the report, and president John Skipper contacted the Rams to apologize as well.