St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher is upset with ESPN for airing a report by Josina Anderson that touched on the showering habits of rookie Michael Sam, Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Sam is trying to become the first openly gay player on a NFL team's roster.
On Tuesday, Anderson answered a question about how Sam was fitting into the locker room with his teammates by quoting an anonymous Rams player, who told Anderson he knew about Sam's shower habits with the team.
"I'm extremely disappointed in her piece," Fisher told the Post-Dispatch on Wednesday. "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."
The day after the report aired, ESPN apologized, saying the network failed to meet standards in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender-related reporting.
Fisher said ESPN president John Skipper called the team to apologize as well.
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Rams defensive end Chris Long tweeted criticism of ESPN later that afternoon.
Fisher is also upset because Anderson did not go through the team's PR staff to contact the players she used for her story.
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From the Post-Dispatch:
"We have a media policy, and we're very flexible," Fisher said. "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."
Sam has three sacks in the Rams' three preseason games.
The Rams have until 4 p.m. ET on Saturday to cut their roster to 53 players.
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