Almost three weeks ago, ESPN’s Troy Eklund was forced to apologize after he stated during an NCAA Tournament game that Tennessee catcher Evan Russell had failed a drug test.
Eklund apologized to Russell for improperly citing social media rumors with “inaccurate, unsourced information” as others’ reporting. Eklund added that he regrets any “hurt or harm” his comments caused.
“Speaking of Tennessee – I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to Tennessee’s Evan Russell and the Volunteer program for inaccurate, unsourced information I used Friday night during the Stillwater Regional,” Eklund said during the Missouri State-Grand Canyon game. “It was used in error and should not have been referenced. I regret any hurt or harm that it might have caused.”
Unfortunately, this story may not be over.
His father, Jason Russell, said on Twitter that his son missed the game due to anxiety and stress.
In an interview with OutKick’s Tomi Lahren, Russell said he’s considering legal recourse against ESPN.
“Me and my legal team, we are pursuing many options,” Russell said. “But in a sense, it’s kind of to prevent it from happening again. There’s a lot of college baseball players, college athletes, that are really trying to make a career out of [their sport]. To have anyone professionally get up there in front of millions of people and say something derogatory toward anyone is kind of a tough thing to do.”
He added that he believes “emotions kind of got the best” of Eklund and is “sure he’s a pretty good analyst and stuff.”
Russell said Eklund never contacted him directly,
“He didn’t reach out personally to me,” Russell said. “I watched the apology. I wasn’t necessarily looking for an apology from him, in particular. He didn’t reach out to me personally. He kind of made it, trying to save himself.”
Russell would eventually return to the lineup, but the top-ranked team got eliminated from the super regionals by Notre Dame.