NFL Insider Adam Schefter Gets Crushed by Anonymous ESPN Colleagues: ‘As a Network You’re Embarrassed’
The world of ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter is a roller coaster. It is incredibly fast-paced and filled with ups and downs. Schefty breaks more NFL stories than seemingly anyone else in sports media. However, he’s also had his share of controversies in the last year. It should come as no surprise then that, coupled with a prestigious profile of him in the Washington Post, came quotes from his ESPN colleagues talking bad about Schefter.
Adam Schefter story in Washington Post
As we sit through the dog days of the NFL year with a dearth of real NFL news, the Washington Post did a story on one of the preeminent news-breakers in pro football, Adam Schefter.
In an article entitled, ‘The power and peril of being Adam Schefter, the ultimate NFL insider,’ Ben Strauss profiles the insider. The piece spans from Schefter’s upbringing on Long Island to the University of Michigan to journalism school at Northwestern. Then it details his first big job, fact-checking for famed sports writer Mitch Albom.
Strauss then chronicles his rise as an insider. His media career goes from the Rocky Mountain News in Denver to the NFL Network to ESPN.
It’s an impressive story. Schefter’s rise to become the ultimate insider is part dogged work, part detective work, and part being an incredible communicator and relationship builder. One of his ESPN even refers to him as a “cyborg” due to how good he is at his job.
However, after a few high-profile controversies of late (more on that below), not all his ESPN colleagues are fans.
After his public missteps, ESPN-ers wondered “how the network’s marquee reporter could be either so careless or so clueless.”
One anonymous source at The Worldwide Leader even told Strauss, “He is your preeminent journalist for the preeminent sport in America. I would hope that as a network you’re embarrassed by that, but I’m blown away that ESPN doesn’t seem to care.”
ESPN recently rewarded Schefter with a reported $9 million per year contract. But his latest blunders must make everyone wonder whether Schefty’s lost it a bit. Or maybe, he’s become too close with his sources.
In the last year, Adam Schefter has found himself in the middle of firestorms of his own creation several times.
His first gaffe happened when emails leaked during the Jon Gruden scandal. Along with the communications between Gruden and Washington Commanders executive Bruce Allen showing the Las Vegas Raiders coach using racist, homophobic, and misogynistic language were other emails between Allen and Schefter.
In the note between the reporter and the exec, Schefter sent Allen an entire story before publishing for his feedback. He also called him “Mr. Editor” in that email. This called Shefty’s journalistic integrity into question.
Just a month later, Schefter got into hot water again. This time it was for seemingly doing some uncomfortable PR work for Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook.
In November 2021, Schefter tweeted, “Minnesota Vikings’ RB Dalvin Cook is the victim of domestic abuse and extortion — there’s pending litigation, according to his agent Zac Hiller.” He also reported that “a member of the military had stolen a garage door opener ‘and Maced Cook directly in his eyes immediately upon illegally entering.'”
What he failed to mention is that the woman in question “was suing Cook for alleged domestic violence.”
Lastly, there was a similar-feeling incident in March 2022 during Deshaun Watson’s legal proceedings.
“Schefter tweeted quarterback Watson’s belief that the truth was out after he wasn’t indicted by a grand jury,” Strauss writes. “It had a similar feeling: that Schefter was willing to push the narrative of a player accused of violence against women.”
In a world where speed and accuracy are paramount, it feels like Schefter might be sacrificing one for the other of late.
He says he’s learned his lesson and will be more cautious in the future. But it does seem like the relationships that allow Schefter to do his job so well could prevent that from happening.
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