Fox Sports 1’s Julie Stewart-Binks was criticized by many in sports media for receiving a lapdance from New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski during Super Bowl week on Jason Whitlock’s House Party by the Bay.
Among the accusations is that she set women in sports journalism back [insert any number of years] here.
ESPN’s Sarah Spain addressed the incident in a post-Super Bowl podcast.
“I was really uncomfortable watching it,” she said. “I thought it was extremely awkward and unprofessional. I can’t imagine being on a set and working and having a athlete grind on me or give me a lap dance or do anything even remotely like that. It’s very uncomfortable.
“But I do think that the reaction to it and the strength of reaction to it was partly because some bulls— in this industry. One of them is all of the handwringing of “she’s just set women back.” And I think that sucks because when a guy reporter does something stupid people don’t judge all male reporters for that action and the way that people wrote about Julie Stewart-Binks the implication was all female reporters are brought down by her poor choice. And I think we need to get, in 2016, after how many years of women being in this industry, we need to be able to get past each woman setting referendums for everyone else by what they do.”
Spain covered Gronkowski’s party cruise over the weekend for ESPN. She wastes few paragraphs before addressing questions about sexism and her presence on the boat.
Stewart-Binks tonight took issue with ESPNW’s tweet promoting the story and let Spain know about it.
Spain responded but doesn’t sound like she’s interested in escalating the exchange.