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ESPN says Bowe gave “more lurid details than we published”

Dwayne Bowe has once again said ESPN the Magazine misquoted him in a story about teammates “importing” women to team hotels, and ESPN has once again stood by its story.

But this time ESPN has upped the ante and said that if the full tape of its interview with Bowe were played, Bowe would be made to look really, really bad -- and so would the teammates Bowe named who were involved in the “importing” of women.

ESPN the Magazine Editor in Chief Gary Belsky released a statement on Bowe’s latest denial, suggesting that if anything, the full audio of Bowe’s comments is worse than what the magazine printed.

“As we have said, we will happily allow Mr. Bowe the chance to listen to our recording of his interview, in the event he forgot that he made these comments,” Belsky said, via Sports by Brooks. “He has not asked to do so. Despite his persistence in denying having made these comments-unfairly damaging the reputation of one of our best writers-we have consistently avoided releasing the audio from his interview to spare him and others further embarrassment, specifically because the on the recording he offers more lurid details than we published and because he named several teammates as having participated in the off-hours activity in question.

“We do not know why Mr. Bowe persists in denying having made the comments, but out of respect for him, his teammates and the Chiefs we will maintain our position, which we think is the honorable choice. We believe The Magazine’s reputation for honesty and integrity speaks for itself.”

Eddie Matz wrote the ESPN the Magazine story in question, and although Belsky is surely correct that Matz’s reputation is being damaged by Bowe continually claiming he was misquoted, it’s hard to understand why ESPN doesn’t just make the audio available and put the whole story to rest. Until they do, plenty of readers are going to assume that Bowe is telling the truth.