ESPN & Josina Anderson on Sam in the shower
Josina Anderson decides to answer a question about Michael Sam by diving into whether the gay NFL player is getting naked with his teammates. Pathetic.
In Sports Illustrated's Year in Sports Media issue (on stands now), Richard Deitsch, who pens SI's Media Circus column, gave out grades to the media for their handling of four people in the news this year: Donald Sterling, Ray Rice, Johnny Manziel and Michael Sam.
In grading the media a B+ for their coverage of Sam, Deitsch writes:
Right through ESPN's tactful handling of Sam's reaction after he was drafted by the Rams, reporting on the NFL's first openly gay player was well done. The missteps were few - see the SportsCenter report on his showering habits - and the coverage generally smart.
It's hard to argue with Deitsch on this one. The vast majority of coverage on Sam was quite good. Though, it should be. We should expect nothing less than fair coverage that would represent a gay athlete well and discuss the issues in a smart manner.
However, I take issue with not just ESPN's handling of the shower, but also the media's over-reaction to the announcement of an Oprah docuseries.
Yet I think the most egregious issue has been the sports media's ignoring of him over the last two months. He isn't in the NFL right now because he came out publicly. If he hadn't he would be on a team right now. That Sports Illustrated and ESPN and NFL.com and others have all ignored this story since October hurts the media's grade.
My grade for the media's handling of Michael Sam this year: B