- SportsCenter anchor John Buccigross and fantasy sports expert Matthew Berry are just some of the men accused of inappropriate behavior at ESPN
- Adrienne Lawrence claims Buccigross sent her unsolicited shirtless photos
- Jets sideline reporter Jenn Sterger claims Berry took her to a strip club without telling her where they were going and made inappropriate sexual comments
- In a statement, ESPN said Lawrence’s claims were ‘entirely without merit’
Women working at the sports network ESPN face a culture of hostility and sexism, according to a bombshell report.
SportsCenter anchor John Buccigross and fantasy sports expert Matthew Berry are just some of the men accused of inappropriate behavior in the Boston Globe’s exposé.
Adrienne Lawrence, who joined the network in 2015 as part of a fellowship to promote racial diversity, claimed Buccigross sent her unsolicited shirtless photos of himself in 2016.
He also allegedly called her ‘dollface’, ‘dreamgirl’ and ‘longlegs’ in messages seen by the paper.
Lawrence, who filed a complaint against the network this summer, told the paper she tried to remain friendly in the messages but at one point responded: ‘You need to wear clothes, sir’.
When she complained to the company about rumors that she and Buccigross were in a relationship, Lawrence says she was encouraged to drop the matter.
She claims ESPN then reduced her on-air shifts and denied her a permanent position, allegations which the network denies.
Buccigross denied starting rumors they were in a relationship, telling the paper: ‘I considered Adrienne to be a friend. I’m sorry if anything I did or said offended Adrienne. It certainly wasn’t my intent.’
In a statement, Katrina Arnold, a spokeswoman for ESPN said: ‘We conducted a thorough investigation and found these claims to be entirely without merit.
‘Lawrence was hired into a two-year talent development program and was told that her contract would not be renewed at the conclusion of the training program.
‘At that same time, ESPN also told 100 other talent with substantially more experience, that their contracts would not be renewed.
‘The company will vigorously defend its position and we are confident we will prevail in court.’
Arnold added: ‘We work hard to maintain a respectful and inclusive culture at ESPN.
‘It is always a work in progress, but we’re proud of the significant progress we’ve made in developing and placing women in key roles at the company in the board room, in leadership positions throughout ESPN and on air.’
The report also contained allegations from former Jets sideline reporter Jenn Sterger, who allegedly received X-rated photos and messages from then-quarterback Brett Favre in 2008.
Referring to an incident she described on Twitter in October, she claimed Berry led her to a strip club without telling her where they were going and made inappropriate sexual comments towards her.
Asked about the incident, Berry told the Globe it ‘was not a smart decision and I regret going’.
He described a photo from the trip in which he is seen pointing at Sterger’s breasts as ‘personally embarrassing’ and said he did not mean any offense.
Former news anchor Sara Walsh, who suffered a miscarriage on air, also claimed she tried to conceal her pregnancy complications out of fear of losing her job at the network.
Source: Daily Mail UK
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