The wife of Washington Redskins General Manager Scot McCloughan apologized on Wednesday night for a series of sexually disparaging tweets directed at ESPN reporter Dianna Russini.
In a statement from the team released by the Washington Post, McCloughan's wife Jessica took back her tweets, calling them "unfounded" and "inappropriate."
On Sunday, prompted by Russini's story that revealed internal conversations the team had about much-maligned quarterback Robert Griffin III, Jessica McCloughan accused Russini of trading oral sex for inside information.
This followed a similarly accusatory tweet from Aug. 13, in which Jessica called Russini her husband's "side chick."
Initially, the Redskins denied that the tweets were from Jessica. Tony Wyllie, the Redskins' senior vice president of communications told Black Sports Online on Wednesday night that Jessica's account was actually an impersonator and that they had contacted NFL security to get it shut down. Wyllie also confirmed to ProFootballTalk that the account and its tweets were fake.
Scot and Jessica McCloughan
Just hours later, however, (and after various outlets found evidence that contradicted Wyllie's claim) the Redskins released the apology statement, completely pivoting on their earlier stance that the tweets weren't Jessica's. Through an email and brief phone correspondence with Deadspin on Wednesday night, Wyllie ignored repeated requests for comment on why the team told reporters misinformation.
ESPN responded to Jessica's tweets in a statement on Wednesday evening:
"Dianna is an excellent reporter who should never have to be subjected to such vulgar comments. We are obviously extremely disappointed by today's developments."
ESPN's Jemele Hill also stood up for her colleague, noting the precarious role female sports reporters have and the challenges they face day-in and day-out.
In a male-dominated sports landscape, sexual harassment of female media members is far too common, and such stories often go untold.
It's also hard to believe that a male reporter in Russini's position, would have such despicable claims thrown in his direction for reporting on similar scoops. In what has been a train-wreck week for the Redskins, this is just another screw up to add to the pile.
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