ESPN analyst and former New York Mets manager Steve Phillips carried on an affair with a 22-year-old production assistant named Brooke Hundley. When the analyst tried to break off the relationship, Hundley harrassed his family, forcing Phillips to tell the police. His wife then announced she was filing for divorce and ESPN reported he was taking a mandatory leave of absence from the network.
Sports fans will no doubt recall that Phillips got into similar trouble a decade ago when, as the Mets' general manager, he had an affair with a team employee who subsequently sued him for sexual harassment. Commentators were quick to point out that ESPN has had an embarrassingly high number of instances of employee sexual misconduct since at least the early 1990s, and many more took the opportunity to let loose on the network, the analyst, and the other woman.
- Bob Biscigliano, Detroit 4 Lyfe: "Another dark day for ESPN, as it makes headlines again for it's overly sexual employees. There's just something about sports and sex that goes hand-in-hand."
- David Whitley, Fanhouse: "I do wonder how ESPN can let Phillips and his crotch back on the air. Then again, if ESPN canned every employee who acted like Phillips, SportsCenter would be hosted by a janitor and Beano Cook."
- AJ Daulerio, Deadspin: "Since the tenuous connection between rumor and fact for accuracy’s sake has been a little eroded here, well, it’s probably about time to just unload the inbox of all the sordid rumors we’ve received over the years about various ESPN employees. Chances are, at this point, there’s some truth to them. We’ll just throw ‘em out there and see how many 'no comments' or, you know, actual comments or 'you would be completely wrongs' there are about these situations. Consider this one giant all-day version of “Deleted Scenes” or something."
- Justin, Sports Crackle Pop: "I’m no PR whiz, but it seems to me the best way to end coverage of a story is to let it die. ESPN’s response gives it legs for at least another day. Now would be the time to make a joke about how the PR guy was probably so busy screwing interns he didn’t have time to think this through."