Image via WikipediaDuring her stint as sideline reporter at the Rose Bowl New Year's Day, ESPN's Erin Andrews commented on incidents of Texas Christian University players slipping on the turf, which she attributed to the poor traction of the Nike Zoom Alpha Talon Cleats the TCU players were wearing.
Intrepid reporting by an ESPN journalist, going the extra yard reporting on feet? Maybe not, according to an article in The Oregonian, that notes Andrews is a celebrity endorser of Canton, Mass.-based Reebok's ZigTech exercise sneaker. Sounds like a conflict of interest afoot.
It's fair game for journalists to comment on the quality of products unless they are accepting money to endorse the products at issue or those of a competitor. The latest "Don't bee" example of sports journalism comes on the heels of, as it were, ESPN suspending anchor Will Salva for plagiarism (see "TUOL" post 12/30/10) and giving NBA star LeBron James the keys to the studio by allowing him to call the shots on "The Decision" broadcast in which he revealed he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat (See "TUOL" post 7/8/10).
Hey ESPN ("Everyone Shills & Plagiarizes, No?")--if you listen carefully, you can hear the ghosts of sports writers Red Smith, Damon Runyon & Heywood Hale Broun whimpering.