It was only a matter of time before the MICHAEL SAM: DISTRACTION: QUESTION MARK monster arose from its lair yet again.
On Tuesday’s afternoon edition of SportsCenter, Josina Andreson filed a report from the Rams facility and answered questions from anchor Jay Crawford. One of those questions was on how Sam was fitting into the Rams locker room. Anderson then talked about when and with who Sam was showering with including a quote from an anonymous Rams player.
People are going to be furious with ESPN and Anderson over this report. You don’t see any other athlete in professional sports face scrutiny and publicity over when they choose to take a shower. Sam’s never going to be “just a football player” if he faces reporting like this.
On the other hand, I don’t think Anderson means any outward harm with this. Who knows, maybe the Rams players came to her first on this topic. But somebody at ESPN should have pumped the brakes on making this information public because it adds an unnecessary element of salaciousness to Sam’s story for no reason.
Till this point, Sam’s private activity in the locker room has not been a story. But now ESPN is going to make it one with this report public.
Michael Sam isn’t the distraction. The media is.
UPDATE: One of Sam’s teammates, fellow defensive linemen Chris Long, blasted ESPN with this tweet.
Dear ESPN, Everyone but you is over it.
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) August 26, 2014
H/T @CorkGaines for the video.