There are many reasons to dislike ESPN. All well documented shameless Disney corporate political kowtowing proceeded by a poorly played game of pretend. But even a broken clock gets it right every now and then. Even if merely in the process of clawing for its own self-interest.
Former ESPN TV reporter Adrienne Lawrence filed a complaint with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (read as an updated fancy version of the EEOC) against ESPN for allowing sexual harassment in the workplace and proceeding with punishments against those who complained. It’s impossible to know who’s telling the truth in these matters at this point as women without an agenda accusing men of rape have now homogenized entirely with fired or disgruntled female employees filing claims against their employers or former bosses for sexually inappropriate comments, statements, or atmospheres.
Lawrence specifically named ESPN longtime anchor John Buccigross as the primary offender. Sending her suggestive texts, referring to her as #Doll, #Dollface, and #LongLegs in messages, seeking to arrange dinners on the road, and sending Lawrence a shirtless picture. In defense of Buccigross, though more-so themselves as the named party in the civil action, ESPN released the full series of texts between Buccigross and Lawrence over the time period in question. The texts show quite a back and forth level of flirtation between the two, to the point any reasonable man would think he was on his way to getting some with a hot ESPN female anchor.
You can read the full texts on the Boston Globe. Suffice it to say, they read like a couple people who work together working up a modern day courtship. Largely lame co-worker flirting and dinner plans during travel time. Lawrence claims that the nature of her texts are subverted, and merely show a frightened junior employee playing along to keep up with the boys in the workplace. That may well be, but now you’re suggesting a “yes” isn’t a “yes” if secretly you meant “no”. Most of America is yet to buy that.
Lawrence and her sympathizers in the media, so almost all of the national media reporters, point out that the Buccigross-Lawrence released texts are a slap in the face to sexual harassment charges. Because men aren’t really allowed to supply a defense in such public claims and suits. Not in our current climate. Also, that the large picture is the locker room culture at ESPN that provides for a hostile work environment for women. With many pointing to a 2011 tell-all ESPN book, Those Guys Have All The Fun. Though that’s six years and many Disney corporate edicts and ESPN firings ago.
Merely by legal happenstance is this the first instance in the current Inquisition where a media company has defended one of their accused employees. And that happenstance is that ESPN is the one facing a charge for his behavior as an example of their dangerous to women workplace. ESPN is now also under fire from the rambling hordes of the Inquisition for not merely firing their remaining male staff and begging for forgiveness.
There was a time men pointed to women and called them witches for their odd behavior and they were burned alive at the stake. Often before they could tell everybody the dude who accused them was also doinking them behind their wife’s back. Now the kangaroo court justice has come full circle. People do love a good mob burning.