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ESPN takes a bath on Michael Sam shower story

St. Louis Rams rookie defensive end Michael Sam

St. Louis Rams rookie defensive end Michael Sam takes part in an organized team activity at the team's practice facility on Thursday, June 5, 2014, in St. Louis. Credit: AP / Jeff Roberson

Could ESPN's Josina Anderson have done a better, more delicate job on some elements of her report earlier this week about how Michael Sam has been accepted by his Rams teammates?

Yes, she could have.

But was her story so egregious it warranted a firestorm of social media criticism, an apology from ESPN, an angry response from Rams coach Jeff Fisher and the full Jon Stewart indignation treatment?

No.

It says here that Anderson was addressing an appropriate journalistic story line as it relates to the first openly gay player in NFL history.

For decades, the question of shower etiquette has been one of the first things that comes to people's minds on the subject of openly gay athletes, and as a pioneer Sam has to expect and accept a certain curiosity about all that.

So do his teammates.

Here is the best voice-of-reason take on this matter that I have seen, from sometimes-New York Times sports scribe Viv Bernstein.

New York Sports