Everyone’s talking about this today. Deadspin, Awful Announcing, The Washington Post, Sports Grid et al. in one way, shape or form, took aim at Josina Anderson of ESPN for her somewhat ridiculous report about Michael Sam being respectful of other teammates in and around the shower area.
Yeah, it’s a touchy subject, and there was probably a better way to BROACH (love that word) it than explicitly saying, “[…] told me I have not been in the shower the same time as Michael Sam.” But even though most of the media is too squeamish to talk about it, this, for better or worse, is exactly the issue that was a concern when an openly, outwardly gay player entered a locker room full of (frequently naked) meatheads. There’s no dancing around the issue. It’s the situation that was on most people’s minds. Again, for better or worse. It sounds like it’s a non-issue, but you can’t really blame a reporter, or ESPN, for bringing it up (even if they could’ve done so a little more gently).
I won’t presume to know how a gay man or woman feels in a locker room. At 24 (Sam’s age), I know that walking into a women’s locker room full of, say, naked, sweaty cheerleaders would’ve caused me to physically explode. Not in the metaphorical, innuendo sense– actually explode. Burst. Organs everywhere. My body wouldn’t have been able to cope with that sort of thing. I would imagine the feeling is extremely different for a gay guy in a men’s locker room. But it is something that is a bit of an unknown, at least in this specific example, and the fact that Sam’s teammates are talking and thinking about it, and that Sam, according to said teammates, is consciously altering his routine, “respecting our space,” makes it a topic. Don’t think you can blame ESPN for mentioning it. Blame Anderson for wording it really awkwardly.