One of America's leading female sports writers has insinuated that Erin Andrews may have been partially responsible for cultivating a "frat house" fan base that led to a Peeping Tom video taping her in the nude and posting the video on the Internet.
"If you trade off your sex appeal, if you trade off your looks, eventually you're going to lose those," USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan said Wednesday on the sports radio show 850 "The Buzz." "She doesn't deserve what happened to her, but part of the shtick, seems to me, is being a little bit out there in a way that then are you encouraging the complete nutcase to drill a hole in a room.
"Erin [Andrews] did not deserve this. I want to make that crystal clear. But she's got to be smarter and better," she said.
She later tweeted that "women sports journalists need to be smart and not play to the frat house."
Following her comments, readers expressed their outrage with Brenna's words online.
"Never thought I would see a woman go with the 'she was asking for it' take. Thought that was only for chauvinist male pigs," one commenter wrote on the sports blog "The Big Lead."
"It sickened me to hear what she was saying about EA …," one reader wrote on Twitter to "Good Morning America's" Kate Snow.
Brennan now says her comments have been misunderstood.
"If my words had been interpreted as being critical of Erin [Andrews], that is the last thing I want," Brennan said. "I would say to Erin: be smart, be terrific, be talented. You are all of that anyway. There is nothing I said about Erin Andrews that I haven't said to myself every day of my career of 28 years."
Brennan's controversial comments came as ESPN announced it was severing all ties with the New York Post due to the newspaper's published report that included nude pictures of Andrews taken from the videos.
"In light of the NY Post's decision to run graphic photos of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews, we have decided to stop utilizing Post reporters on any of our outlets," ESPN said, according their statement. "Running photos obtained in such a fashion went well beyond the boundaries of common decency in the interest of sensationalism."
At least one freelance journalist for the New York Post quit over the way this story was being covered, according to Andrews' attorney Marshall Grossman.
The New York Post fought back today in their gossip section Page Six with a scathing report claiming it was ESPN's fault the story got out in the first place.
"No one would have known that a sick voyeur had secretly videotaped ESPN reporter Erin Andrews nude in her hotel room, if the Mickey Mouse sports network hadn't sent a letter to an obscure Web site demanding that it take down its link to a fuzzy video of an unidentified blonde," the report read in part.
New York Post spokesperson Suzi Halpin told ABC News the Page Six report "serves as our comment" on the story.