2 minute read

Lisa Olson - Ex-patriots

Famous Sports StarsSports JournalismLisa Olson Biography - The Sports Illustrated Reading Program, Ex-patriots, Higher Standard, Chronology, Further Information


The first few months on the Patriot's beat Olson had not had an incident. She was enjoying her new position. In September Olson had started working on a piece featuring Maurice Hurst. When she asked him for an interview, "Hurst said he would do the interview after practice, in the locker room, where Olson had been only twice before," commented Montville. She did not like to do interviews in the locker room, but Hurst made it clear that she had to come to him, rather than him meeting her in the pressroom. After practice on September 17, 1990, Olson went to see Hurst, who was apparently icing down an injury he had endured that day. While she was asking him questions for her piece, Robert Perryman, Michael Timpson and Zeke Mowatt surrounded them and directed crude comments at her while gesturing with their genitals. Olson, attempted to ignore them and continue her interview with Hurst, but she was too flustered and ended up leaving the locker room briskly. She ran to her car and drove home quickly, all the while crying and hitting her fist upon the steering wheel, expressing her rage.

Once she arrived home Olson immediately called Sales to tell him of the incident. They "intended to confront privately the Patriot's management about the incident, but the item was published three days later by the Boston Globe," according to Mark Fitzgerald of Editor & Publisher. The players did not step forward to apologize before the incident was published, but when their reputations were at stake, the Patriots' owner, Victor Kiam, took out an apology ad in the paper. It was too little to late. The damage to Olson's life had already been made. Eventually an investigation into the altercation was performed, and the guilty parties were fined for their wrongdoing.

Olson ended up having to move out of the country to Australia because of the harassment she received following the story. "The people who run the NFL must have felt this was an acceptable solution, because they did nothing to change it," said Mike Celezic of the Record. Sadly, the event didn't have the life-changing effect it should have. "I don't think it helped women," said Andrea Kremer to the Denver Rocky Mountain News. She continued, "I would never second-guess anything she did. I haven't stood in her shoes. My instinct is you try to defuse everything with humor, but there was nothing humorous about this." Celezic added, "The women, knowing what happened to Olson, cringe and suffer in silence rather than lose their access and their jobs."

Additional topics