We're a little late to the party on the Erin Andrews saga (though our bro-site Deadspin has been all over it from day one), but since the story is still making headlines, it seems appropriate to weigh in, even a week later. Let us break it down for you: Erin Andrews is an ESPN interviewer who wore a "skimpy outfit" (pictured) when she was in the locker room at the Cubs/Brewers game on July 29th. The next day, GateHouse News Service columnist Mike Nadel wrote a scathing essay criticizing Andrews' unprofessionalism and taking her to task for placing "her hand suggestively on [Alfonso] Soriano's left bicep" and generally "playing the sexpot."
He also said that her costume choice was a disruptive presence in the clubhouse. Since Nadel's July 30th column, the sports sections of several newspapers and the blogosphere have been alight with commentary. Andrews herself called the hubbub over her low-cut dress "sad" and told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that "when there's a big game between the Cubs and Brewers going on, it's sad that [my body] is what their focus is on." Fellow female sports journalist Trenni Kusnierek is firmly in the anti-Andrews camp, and she told a Milwaukee sports blog earlier this week, "Erin is a beautiful girl with a body I'd kill for. I know she's hotter than me. But, she'd still be better looking in a professional outfit, not just in glorified lingerie. As a female in the same business, I wish she'd realize how damaging it is to an entire gender when she carries herself in that manner. It sets us all back to a time where female sports reporters were all seen as husband hunters who were only in the business to catch a cheap glance."
I'll admit it, I'm not a frequent baseball watcher, and so I don't know if Andrews' outfit is as wildly inappropriate as Kusnierek and Nadal purport. However, I think Kusnierek is way off the mark when she says that Andrews short skirt is "damaging to the entire gender," because those sorts of histrionics are just as damaging. Deadspin'sA.J. Daulerio struck a middle ground when he wrote, "Honestly, sports blogs (Deadspin included, obviously) are shameless in the promotion and objectification of Erin Andrews, but the reality is she wouldn't have ascended to that level of deification had she not shown some level of competency to go along with her other physical attributes." But several questions still remain: was Andrews initial wardrobe choice inappropriate? Should her wardrobe choices be a non-issue in the first place? Is this entire "scandal" just further evidence that sexism in the sports world is so deeply entrenched that it's the accepted mode of behavior? Sports nuts, enlighten us!
Mike Nadel: Blonde Bombshell Can't Distract Red-Hot Cubs [Norwich Bulletin]
Erin Andrews: "My Overall Reaction Is That It's Really Sad." [Star-Tribune]
A Female Journalist's Take On The Erin Andrews Story [OnMilwaukee.com]