Reggie Jackson's Third-Person Apology For Harassing A Female Beat Writer

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Vice Sports has a very good profile of Lisa Saxon, who in the 1980s became one of the first female sportswriters on an MLB beat. The harassment—verbal, mental, and physical—that she dealt with was hellish, but at least she was able to achieve to a sort of peace with one of her chief tormentors, Reggie Jackson.

Saxon doesn't believe it was personal; "Reggie wasn't happy unless he was making someone else miserable," she says. But Jackson's abuse of Saxon made it into print, including her claims that he asked to see her naked, flaunted his own nudity in front of her, made fun of her looks, and constantly came on to her. After the article's publication, Saxon immediately heard from Angels players George Hendrick and John Candelaria, who said Jackson was going to be furious, but this time Saxon wouldn't have to face him alone.

"[A]t the ballpark that night, Reggie tried to come after me, screaming [about the story]. And sure enough, here comes Hendrick and Candelaria, tall and imposing. 'To get to her, you're gonna have to go through us.' Reggie got so mad. He took his fist and banged it into the wall. And that's why he had a hurt hand for the playoffs that year."

Saxon and Jackson crossed paths in the Oakland clubhouse a few years later, with Jackson now a coach and apparently having slightly mellowed. He called Saxon over.

Something was awry, Saxon told Welch, because it was the first time Jackson hadn't referred to her as "bitch." Jackson immediately queried Saxon, wondering if there was a problem between them.

"Well you have to be more specific, Reggie," she said. "Was there a problem when you cursed at me, yelled at me, told me I looked like a man, told me to have the team bus run over me, when you mocked my clothes, asked me to sleep with you when I repeatedly told you to leave me alone, when you undressed in front of me?"

Jackson pleaded ignorance: "Reggie doesn't do those things," he said in his usual third-person dialect. "Reggie never did those things. But if he did, Reggie apologizes."

Lisa Saxon, the woman who helped change sports writing forever [Vice Sports]