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."
- Jeremy Hawn, The Other Fifteen: "I could take several angle with this, but I’m going to go the a$$hole rout. He chose to sleep with a mentally unstable 22 year old (who isn’t even attractive) who then went on to wreak havoc in his marriage, career, and relationship with his kids. That sounds about on par with his decision-making skills as a GM. Steve Phillips, everybody! Let’s give him a round of applause!"
- Jen Wielgus, Philly Burbs: "Steve Phillips is a jerk. He's really dumb. He's a crappy father. And he is NOT a victim deserving of anybody's empathy...You have to be galactically stupid to think anyone who's willing to sleep with a married man is going to morph into a model citizen after you cut her loose. Even if she doesn't go all Amy Fisher on you, she's probably going to be a little immature, a little bit immoral, a little bit nuts, a little bit of a handful. "
- Six Feet, Six Inches, The Bleacher Report: "While my disgust should be directed at Steve Phillips, I find myself harboring just as much, if not more, towards his mistress for the way she has handled everything. There is something inherently wrong in selling a story like this to a newspaper...Look, Ice Queen, it's bad enough that you engaged in an affair with a man that you knew was married, but it's worse when you write a vengeful letter to that man's wife and send it to a newspaper."
- Ace, Ace of Spades HQ: "There are a couple of pictures of Hundley that make her look okay, but most of them make her look like, uh, a dude. Although she did a lot of creepy stuff, the creepiest was trying to Facebook friend one of Phillips' teenaged sons in an effort to pump him for information, and suggest that maybe Mommie and Daddy ought to get a divorce."