You Can’t Really Blame Espn for the Michael Sam Shower Report

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.


16 Responses

  1. I can see Michael Sam sneaking pics pretending he’s texting in the locker room

  2. I’d think that much like myself, majority Americans could really care less about what goes on in locker room showers (unless it’s porn of course). The fact that there is “all of a sudden” a gay man involved doesn’t really change this either. This is just another fine example of how the media of today will report ANYTHING as if it’s news. Josina and ESPN really should just stick to reporting what goes on on the field and stop shoving this whole “OHMAAAGAWD A GAY ATHLETE” down our collective throats as if we give two shits. I don’t care if my neighbor is gay so why would i care if a football player i don’t even know is gay? Fuck off ESPN.

  3. The homosexual choose to come out, so this is what he has to deal with. So lets not try dancing and tip toeing around this issue trying to be all PC.

  4. You’ll only find one period amid all this drivel:

    “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. ”

    Count ’em : Seven commas in one sentence. Jim’s writing style is clearly rubbing off on Kyle.

  5. I thought the story was bad..but the guy who counted the commas and run ons…snatched that title..

  6. This is no different than a guy showering with 46 Victoria Secret models. Let’s call it what it is.

  7. Actually, there is. First off, it would be more akin to showering with a random sampling of the general population of women. Most men on any given sports team aren’t attractive to begin with.

    But even that doesn’t apply unless you spent your entire youth, adolescence and early adult life showering with dozens of women on a regular basis. This isn’t Sam’s first locker room, he’s been doing it his whole life.

    It is only an issue in the minds of his teammates, and if you think straight athletes don’t look at each other’s bodies in the locker room, than how do you explain how everyone on this site knows that Nick Foles has the biggest dong on the Eagles?

  8. As for ESPN, its ‘coverage’ of this ‘issue’ is really only understandable in the sense that they knew it would be talked about, blogged about, debated, watched and rewatched.

    It is understandable for the same reason it was understandable to show a 7th round draft choice reacting to getting picked ad nauseum on Sports Center for days was understandable: it will get ratings and help procure ad revenue.

    This isn’t some noble sociological case study they’re documenting for posterity, it’s just a fucking flavor of the month headline they’re going to milk until well past the point that even Michael Sam’s mother gives a shit anymore.

  9. That image of the reporter before you play it is great. She literally looks like someone just shot a load in her face and she wasn’t expecting it.

  10. Well said and nicely tinged with humor. It’s easy to pile on when the politics of the day demand that you be in lockstep with the prevailing sentiment on a particular issue. As awkward as it came across, ESPN tackled a question central to the perceived difficulties of having an openly gay player in a professional sports locker room.

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