Adam Schefter's defense for 'bigger than Robert Kraft' report is horrible look

Alex Reimer
March 07, 2019 - 10:37 am
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To quote the kids, Adam Schefter should take the L.

ESPN’s ubiquitous NFL Insider, who will undoubtedly break nearly every major free agent signing next week, whiffed on his report that Robert Kraft would not be the biggest name involved in the recent wide-range prostitution bust in South Florida, which authorities say also includes human trafficking.

“I’m told that Robert Kraft is not the biggest name involved down there in South Florida, and we will see what police turn up in the report,” Schefter said on “SportsCenter” shortly after news of Kraft’s ensnarement had been announced. 

Authorities charged roughly 200 johns, including Kraft, with soliciting prostitution. Over the subsequent days, some other wealthy business moguls appeared on the list, such as private equity titan John Childs and former Citigroup head John Havens, but none of their names come close to matching Kraft’s. 

In an interview with OMF that Friday, Schefter appeared to backtrack, insisting he had not tweeted the rumor. It was the ultimate battle of semantics.

That was the last time Schefter addressed the seemingly erroneous speculation, until his appearance this week on Barstool Sports’ “Pardon My Take” podcast. Though he acknowledged he still doesn’t have the name of the alleged john, he didn’t really issue a mea culpa. 

“I don’t have the name, because I was not given the name,” Schefter said. “And, again, maybe I should have framed it a little differently because the story took on a life of its own. And I should have said, ‘There are people down there telling me…’ Now, there are people who tell you things. They sometimes come to be and sometimes don’t.”

Schefter never speaks out of turn when commenting on comparatively mundane football matters, such as franchise tags and head coaching hires. So it is odd he would be so cavalier about an actual hard news story with real-world implications. 

Later in the interview, Schefter tried to defend himself. “Wasn’t John Havens, who was second in command at Citigroup, a big name?,” he said. “Like I had people from CNBC — I could show you the texts — texting me, literally I could read to you right now, ‘John Havens was caught in the sting. He ran Sales and Trading for Morgan Stanley, was the No. 2 at Citigroup. How can people destroy their lives?’”

It’s hard to imagine anybody, even those who reside in the most insular Wall Street circles, would regard John Havens as a bigger name than Robert Kraft. Schefter got bad information. He shouldn’t repeat the same mistake as his colleague Chris Mortensen during Deflategate and double-down. Just admit you were wrong, and move on.

As the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand points out, Schefter’s recent track record with big stores outside of the gridiron is a little sketchy. He reported in November the Browns were thinking about interviewing Condoleezza Rice for their head coaching vacancy, which everyone associated with the team categorically denied. He also weirdly reported some of the referees in the Saints-Rams NFC championship were from Southern California, but also said the league doesn’t expect their residences factored into the errant decision to not flag Nickell Robey-Coleman for pass interference. 

It was a bizarre and unnecessary character assassination. 

Schefter is still the most trusted NFL Insider around. But when it comes to the non-football stories, it would be best for him to proceed cautiously. 

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